The Bearded Bellbirds (Procnias averano) are cotingas found in tropical northern South America.
Subspecies and Ranges:
Two races are currently recognized:
- Procnias averano averano – nominate form
- Range: northeastern Brazil
- Procnias averano carnobarba
- Range: Venezuela, Trinidad, extreme northeastern Colombia, western Guyana and far northern Brazil
The striking Bearded Bellbird has a black, broad hooked-tipped bill and rounded wings. The eyes are dark and the legs grey to black. .
The male measures about 11 inches (28 cm) in length – including the tail – and weighs about 6.5 oz (180 g). The plumage is white or greyish-white, except for the black wings and brownish head. He has a “beard” of un-feathered, black mossy wattles.
The smaller female is about 10.5 inches (27 cm) long and weighs about 4.5 oz (130 g). She is olive-green on the upper plumage – a little duskier on her head. Below she is yellow streaked with green. Her vent is pure yellow. The female lacks the facial wattles (“beard”) of the male.
Songs / Vocalizations
The male’s call is described as either a very loud dull Bock that is repeated every few seconds or a less loud, metallic hammering tonk-tonk-tonk-tonk. Regional variations have also been identified, such as an almost hissing, bisset in southern Venezuela and a disyllabic teek-terong in northern Venezuela.
Females are basically silent.
Breeding / Nesting
Most breeding activity is observed between April and November in Trinidad; and between May and September in Northern Venezuela.
The female builds a flimsy nest out of twigs, which is usually placed in the outer branches of a tree. The average clutch consists of one single brown-mottled, light tan egg, which is also incubated by the female alone.
The male is polygamous – mating with several females.
Bearded Bellbirds mostly feed on fuits and berries. They particularly favor the flowering plants Lauraceae and Burseraceae. The female feeds the chicks regurgitated Lauraceae.
Relevant Web Resources
Bellbirds … Bellbird Photo Gallery
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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