Unsorted Wild Birds

Cotingas (family, Cotingidae)

The Cotingas (family, Cotingidae) are found in the forests and forest edges of Central America and tropical South America.

Pompadour Cotinga (Xipholena punicea)

Diet / Feeding

They mostly eat fruit or insects.


Cotingas have broad bills with hooked tips, rounded wings, and strong legs.

They range in body size from the 8-cm Kinglet Calyptura (which may not be a true cotinga) to the 50-cm male Amazonian Umbrellabird.

The males of many species are brightly colored, or decorated with plumes or wattles, with their umbrella-like crest and long throat wattles. Some have distinctive and far-carrying calls.

The females of most species are duller than the males.

Breeding / Nesting

The females alone care for the eggs and young. Males will mate with several females.

Many have striking courtship displays, often grouped together in leks (competitive mating displays or dancing grounds). The males gather high in a single tree or in adjacent trees, but male cocks-of-the-rock, as befits their more terrestrial lives, give their elaborate displays in leks on the ground.

Many species lay a single egg in a flimsy nest. Fruiteaters, on the other hand, build more solid cup nests, and the cocks-of-the-rock attach their mud nests to cliffs.

Spangled Cotinga, Cotinga cayana



  • Genus: Phytotoma– plantcutters
    • White-tipped Plantcutter, or Reddish Plantcutter, Phytotoma rutila
    • Rufous-tailed Plantcutter or Chilean Plantcutter, Phytotoma rara
    • Peruvian Plantcutter, Phytotoma raimondii
  • Genus: Phoenicircus – red-cotingas
    • Guianan Red-cotinga (Phoenicircus carnifex)
    • Black-necked Red-cotinga (Phoenicircus nigricollis)
  • Genus: Tijuca
  • Genus: Carpornis – berryeaters
    • Hooded Berryeater (Carpornis cucullata)
    • Black-headed Berryeater (Carpornis melanocephala)
  • Genus: Ampelion
  • Genus: Doliornis
  • Genus: Zaratornis
    • White-cheeked Cotinga, Zaratornis stresemanni
  • Genus: Pipreola – fruiteaters

  • Genus: AmpelioidesScaled Fruiteater
  • Genus: Lipaugustypical pihas
  • Genus: Snowornis – atypical pihas (2 species)
  • Genus Porphyrolaema
    • Purple-throated Cotinga, Porphyrolaema porphyrolaema
  • Genus: Cotinga
  • Genus: Xipholena
    • Pompadour Cotinga (Xipholena punicea)
    • White-tailed Cotinga (Xipholena lamellipennis)
    • White-winged Cotinga (Xipholena atropurpurea)
  • Genus: Carpodectes (3 species)
    • Black-tipped Cotinga, Carpodectes hopkei
    • Yellow-billed Cotinga, Carpodectes antoniae
    • Snowy Cotinga, Carpodectes nitidus
  • Genus: Conioptilon
  • Genus: Gymnoderus
    • Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Gymnoderus foetidus
  • Genus: Haematoderus
    • Crimson Fruitcrow, Haematoderus militaris
  • Genus: Querula
    • Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Querula purpurata
  • Genus: Pyroderus
    • Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Pyroderus scutatus
  • Genus Cephalopterus, the umbrellabirds
  • Genus: Perissocephalus
  • Genus Procnias, the bellbirds
  • Genus Rupicola, the cock-of-the-rocks

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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