Today’s animal of the day is the gorgeous Umbrellabird which resides in the rainforest climes of Central and South America.
Darwin’s friend Sir Alfred Wallace discovered this species on a South American expedition in the 1800s.
Here are a few facts about this unusual bird:
- Umbrellabirds were given their name for the shaped crest on their heads.
- There are three different Umbrellabirds: the Long-Wattled, the Amazonian, and the Bare-Necked.
- In mating season, the males fan their crests wide and rumble their throats to attract the females.
- All three types have coarse, black feathers but differ in other traits.
- The Long-Wattled Umbrellabird has a long black wattle on its throat.
- The Amazonian Umbrellabird has mostly black feathers.
- The Bare-Necked Umbrellabird has a featherless patch on its chin.
- The birds tend to hop between branches in the trees to travel because of their large size.
- Groups are called a “Lek” and migrate up and down the mountains instead of across land.
- As omnivores, they eat everything from fruit to insects to small animals.
- Adult birds have a wingspan that can reach over two feet.
- The females lay one egg at a time, and it only incubates a month before hatching.
- Both parents feed their chick for several months before it flies off on its own.
- Their lifespan ranges from 12 to 20 years.
- Monkeys, snakes, and birds of prey go after the eggs and young birds, but Umbrellabirds don’t have any other predator threats.
- The Long-Wattled and the Bare-Necked types are both considered to be endangered species due to habitat depletion.