Unique to South America, the “screamers” are large, distinctive with spiny projections from the head and boast a powerful call (hence the name). Most easily spotted around oxbow lakes.
- A long spiny structure projects forward from the crown and gives the bird its name. It keeps growing and often breaks at the tip.
- The upperparts, head and breast are black, with white speckles on the crown, throat and wing coverts (small feathers that cover and protect others).
- The belly and under-wing coverts are white.
- It is about 60 to 84cm long and weighs about 3.5kg.
- They tend to stay in pairs and small groups.
- Herbivorous, they graze along the water.
- They live in open areas and marshes with some grass, and feed on water plants.
- A powerful voice (hence the name).
- Call is a loud and far-carrying “U-who” as well as a “culphoo” which according to local people sounds like someone saying “camungo” which is its native name.
Where & how to spot in Manu:
- Its nest is a large pile of floating vegetation anchored in shallow water..
- The only screamer found in Manu, it is active all day, with peaks of activity in early morning and late afternoon.
- Always seen around water.
- Spot it perched on trees by the water, or walking on floating vegetation in shallow water.