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Capuchinbird Perissocephalus tricolor

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cotingidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Jack Hruska and Guy M. Kirwan

Restricted to the Guiana Shield, Capuchinbird is one of the most spectacular and striking representatives of the family Cotingidae. The species long has been assigned its own genus, but its closest relatives defied fine scale elucidation until very recently. Undoubtedly one of the most unmistakable cotingas, Capuchinbird, or Calfbird, has a reputation for one of the avian world’s most incredible vocalisations, which frequently is likened to a distant chainshaw or a ‘lowing’ cow, or a hybrid between the two! Away from their well-known leks, this extraordinary bird can be very difficult to find, but once located, usually in the subcanopy, there is no mistaking it given the unfeathered and rather small head, and almost deformed appearance, like a hunchback. In terms of the Capuchinbird’s ecology, the pioneering studies of the late Barbara and David Snow, made 40 years ago, have, rather amazingly, yet to be significantly superseded.


© Bret Whitney

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

Recommended Citation

Hruska, J. and G. M. Kirwan (2012). Capuchinbird (Perissocephalus tricolor), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.