Purple-throated Fruitcrow Querula purpurata

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cotingidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Elena Galindo

In a family rife with oddities and anomalies, Purple-throated Fruitcrow by plumage alone does not jump out as being a particularly aberrant cotinga. This fruitcrow is size and shape of a small crow with, in males, a deep purple throat. Placed in a monotypic genus, this fruitcrow is the related to several other species of large bodied cotingas, which also partially or completely black: Crimson Fruitcrow (Haematoderus militaris), Red-ruffed Fruitcrow (Pyroderus scutatus), and the three species of umbrellabird (Cephalopterus). Purple-throated Fruitcrow is the only species of cotinga that is social, occurring in noisy groups of 3-8 birds, and is the only member of its family to breed cooperatively. Cooperative breeding systems tend to be most common when resources are scarce or unpredictable such as in arid regions. In contrast, Purple-throated Fruitcrow is found in humid forest, from southern Nicaragua south to northwestern Ecuador and to Bolivia. The humid lowland forests occupied by the fruitcrow are a habitat that might be expected to provide abundant and predictable resources, particularly insects, on which the fruitcrow, despite its common name, feeds most heavily. Another peculiar feature of Purple-throated Fruitcrow is that its nests are conspicuous and made more so by the constant attendance of the social group, a very different strategy than other members of the family.


© David L. Ross, Jr.

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Galindo, E. (2016). Purple-throated Fruitcrow (Querula purpurata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.putfru1.01