Shambu's Wildshots
Andean Cock-of-the-Rock
Writer: Aditya Rao
Illustrator: Savio Mascarenhas
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During his tour of Peru, Shambu left his tour group and wandered into the forest to catch a few winks. But his siesta was abruptly ended when a boisterous group of Andean cocks-of-the-rock began calling and dancing in a nearby clearing. Find out more about the Andean cock-of-the-rock in this edition of Shambu’s Wildshots.

    • The Andean cock-of-the-rock is the national bird of Peru.
    • They are found near forest streams in the cloud forests of the Andes mountains. They are native to the countries of Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela and Ecuador in South America.
    • The males of the species are brightly coloured, having red-orange feathers covering the upper halves of their bodies. They also have a very unique flat and round crest of feathers over their bills, giving them a very distinctive appearance.
    • The females are brownish-orange in colour and have smaller crests.
    • Males of the species gather together in common areas on the forest floor, known as leks, to perform displays of courtship to attract mates. These courtship displays include many male birds dancing and making noises that sound like the squealing of pigs, in order to attract the attention of females.
    • The females lay batches of two eggs at a time inside caves or among rocks and fledglings hatch within a month’s time.
    • They mostly eat berries and fruits but also include insects in their diet.
    • They play an important role in the dispersal of seeds of many different species of trees in the forest. The diversity of plants around the communal leks and nesting sites are proof of their positive impact on the environment.

Listen to the calls of the Andean cock-of-the-rock below.

Read more about Shambu’s latest Peruvian adventure in Tinkle 777 W1!

Sources:
Britannica
PBS
5+
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