Guianan Cock-of-the-rock Rupicola rupicola

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cotingidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Whitney Richter and Guy M. Kirwan

In Brazil, the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is known as the galo-da-serra, through its dependence on huge boulders and rocky caves for breeding. At leks males utter a variety of loud crowing, monosyllabic, chicken-like notes, whilst both sexes may give a loud waa-oww whilst foraging. This latter vocalization has been likened to a rubber duck being strangled! An inhabitant of terra firme forests, including those on sandy soils, the male Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is an exceptionally brightly colored bird and is further adorned with delicate silky plumes on the lower back and scapulars, like fine orange peel, provoking comparisons with the birds-of-paradise. However, the male especially is unlikely to be confused with any other species due to it being entirely allopatric with the Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus). The female, despite being decidedly less distinctive, still bears the combination of heavy body, broad-based bill, and crest that makes this bizarre genus so instantly recognizable. The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is principally frugivorous, although small vertebrates and other items have been recorded in the species’ diet, and because of its amazing plumage and displays has been the subject of more research than most species of Cotingidae.


© Thomas H. Davis

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

Recommended Citation

Richter, W. and G. M. Kirwan (2011). Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola rupicola), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.