Noisy and distinctive, spending most of their time perched in trees. Tend to be sociable and call in unison with a variety of hoarse voices.
- Very distinctive with a long, spiky crest, bright blue facial skin, and red eyes.
- The neck is long and the head small.
- The long, sooty-brown tail is broadly tipped buff.
- The upperparts are dark, sooty-brown-edged buff on the wing coverts, and streaked buff on the mantle and nape. The underparts are buff.
- The flanks are rich rufous-chestnut, mainly visible when it opens its wings.
- It is 65cm long and weighs 700 to 900g.
- They are gregarious and nest in small colonies.
- The chicks have two claws on each wing. Immediately after hatching, they are able to use these to scramble around tree branches.
- Because of its digestive system, it gives off an unpleasant, manure-like smell.
- A variety of hoarse calls including groans, croaks, hisses and grunts.
- When defending the nest they make a loud, raspy, nasal, wheezy hiss.
Where & how to spot in Manu:
- They move awkwardly and can give themselves away with sounds of crashing through the vegetation.
- The stick nest is usually built in a tree hanging over water in seasonally flooded forests.
- See them near oxbow lakes, along trails or perching on trees.