LATEST BIRDING NEWS
Newsletter - Issue 59
Seasons Greetings to all our wonderful Nikon's BATV fans. Its been a busy year. And we look forward to an even busier year next year as we enter Season 5.
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Guyana DESTINATION > Cock Of The Rock
Cock Of The Rock
The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is a stout-bodied bird with an extraordinary half-moon crest, an orange-tipped black tail, black, orange and white wings, and silky-orange filaments of the inner remiges.

Powered by WikipediaThe Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is a stout-bodied bird with an extraordinary half-moon crest, an orange-tipped black tail, black, orange and white wings, and silky-orange filaments of the inner remiges. Additionally, this species also has an orange bill, legs and skin. The less conspicuous female is dark brownish-grey overall and possesses a yellow-tipped black bill and a smaller crest. It has a total length of approximately 30cm (12in) and weighs 200-220 grams (7-7 oz).

The Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock is one of those uniquely plumed birds that can be easily identified by birders of all levels. It could also be considered the face of Guyana, and with the male's brilliant orange colorings, complete with an attention-grabbing Mohawk, it's no wonder it graces the covers of so many tourism brochures. And while the radiant plumage of the male makes it one of the most sought after and easily identifiable birds of the tropics, the female's less-than-striking brown colorings don't attract equal attention, but watching the females (who often build their nests in groups) interact is a rare experience indeed.

The smaller of the two cocks-of-the-rock, the male takes the lesser part in breeding, is polygamous, and has nothing to do with nesting once mating is done. The male's energy instead is devoted to very elaborate display rituals that show off its magnificent plumage. These displays take place in communal leks, where 40 or more males may gather to challenge rivals and beckon the females.

The displaying male shows its crest and plumage so much that the bill and tail become obscured, almost making it difficult to recognize as a bird. Within the lek, each bird has its own perch on a low branch, with a "court" on the ground below that is cleared of dead leaves by the draughts of each male taking off and landing. They also have a variety of calls and movements, showing off the crest and elongated filaments on the rump and secondaries, and snapping their bills. Males display on branches about 2.5m (10ft) from the ground until a female approaches, when the males display and call from individual plots on the ground. The female chooses a male by landing on the ground behind a male and pecking him on the rump, the male turns round, and mating takes place almost immediately.



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