Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Gray-winged Trumpeter Psophia crepitans

  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Psophiidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Arjun Brandreth Potter


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Gray-winged Trumpeter
eBird range map for Gray-winged Trumpeter

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

The Gray-winged Trumpeter is confined to dense tropical rain forests north of the Amazon River.  It ranges from southeastern Colombia south through eastern Ecuador to northern Peru, north of the Río Marañón and the Amazon, east through northern Brazil, southern and eastern Venezuela (mostly south of the Orinoco, but north in Sucre and Monagas), and Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana (Blake 1977). Since trumpeters are weak fliers, and will not cross large rivers, rivers largely determine their distribution (Sherman 1996). Trumpeters are entirely non-migratory, and most of their movements are within their territory.

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to northern South America.


Resident in undisturbed, dense, mature lowland tropical rain forests, especially those rich in fruiting trees such as Cecropia and Ficus species, but can be found as high as 750 m in cloud forest (Sherman 1996). Found most commonly in areas some distance from human settlements. Flocks appear to defend large, non-overlapping territories (average of 72 ha) that covered all forested habitats available. Experimental manipulations of fruit availability suggest that the territory size must provide sufficient fruit all year (Sherman 1996).

Territories may encompass a wide range of habitat types, including mature, early-, and late-successional forests, as well as seasonally flooded swamps, but mature rainforest seems to be preferred, due to an abundance of fruiting trees, an open understory that facilitates travel and detecting predators. Trumpeters will forage in early successional areas, such as areas where rivers have switched course or where sediment-filled lakebeds are taken over by vegetation; these areas are often rich in fruiting trees like Ficus spp. and Cecropia tesmanii.

Historical changes

The actual range has constricted due to overhunting and habitat destruction. Largely absent or declining from the parts of the coastal plain because of widespread deforestation and hunting, but actual extent of extirpation is unknown (Sherman 1996).

Fossil history

No information available.

Recommended Citation

Potter, A. B. (2011). Gray-winged Trumpeter (Psophia crepitans), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.