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Cotinga amabilis

Lovely Cotinga

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cotingidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Rodríguez-Flores, C., C. Soberanes-González, M. C. Arizmendi, and Thomas S. Schulenberg

Life History


Lovely Cotinga probably is primarily frugivorous, but also consumes invertebrates and, occasionally, small vertebrates. At one site in southern Mexico, the cotinga exclusively visited fruiting Ficus, among the five genera of fruiting trees monitored during the study period (late May until early August; Kantak 1979). The majority of the visits to this tree were before noon, with over 40% of the visits before 07:00 (Kantak 1981). Lovely Cotingas also consume lauraceous fruit (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Little is known about the relative contributions of invertebrates to the diet, or the types of invertebrates consumed, but foraging on Hymenoptera is reported (Kirwan and Green 2011). Skutch (1969) observed a female provisioning a fledgling with a small lizard.


Lovely Cotinga usually forages in the canopy. Food, either fruit or insects, usually is taken during a short sally. Also perches conspicuously in bare branches in the canopy.


No information, but probably not strongly territorial; at one site in Honduras, 51 specimens were collected from a single fruiting tree over a period of "about two weeks" (Peters 1929; see also Bangs 1903).

Sexual Behavior

No information available - Contribute

Social and interspecific behavior

Lovely Cotinga usually is solitary or in pairs, but larger numbers may congregate in fruiting trees.


Skutch (1969) observed a female Lovely Cotinga apparently defending a nest against an Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus).


Very little information; only two nests have been reported, and the eggs are undescribed (Skutch 1969, Kirwan and Green 2011). Both nests were encountered in Costa Rica, in April and May. These two nests were at 31 m above the ground, in the canopy, and at 10 m, about halfway up a 20 m pine tree. The shape of the nest is not well known, due to the height above the ground, and because the nest is placed among epiphytes. After an attempted (or partially successful?) act of predation on one nest, the female disassembled the nest, scattering the nest materials. This female continued to provision a flightless nestling, which had fallen or fluttered to the ground. Only the female was seen attending the young. The female evidently fed fruit (Ocotea pentagona) and a small lizard to the young (Skutch 1969). 

Populations and Demography

There is no information related to topics such as age at first breeding, life span and survivorship, dispersal, or population regulation for Lovely Cotinga.

Recommended Citation

Rodríguez-Flores, C., C. Soberanes-González, M. C. Arizmendi, and Thomas S. Schulenberg. 2013. Lovely Cotinga (Cotinga amabilis), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: