A rare bird from the Andes that looks like a plush toy 9/7/2015 •

A rare bird from the Andes that looks like a plush toy

This funny creature that resembles a stuffed animal is actually a rare bird called Andean cock-of-the-rock. One of its distinctive features is a beak covered with feathers.

In fact, both its appearance and name are quite misleading. The bird has nothing to do with cocks – it belongs to the order of passerines and inhabits the mountain forests of South America.

The aborigines usually call it "kavanoroh" or "kabanuruh" for these names are similar to the bird's squawks. The birds are mediocre singers, but this is not a problem for them – male birds attract the opposite sex not by singing beutiful songs, but by odd mating dance. They are slowly strutting on the ground freezing for a moment and showing their proud profile, while females are watching the whole show sitting on trees. Unlike other birds that perform mating rituals, a male cock-of-the-rock never fights with its rivals during the breeding season. The birds just angrily flap with their wings and then fly apart.

The colorful plumage of the male birds doesn't attract predators because many of them do not recognize bright colors. By the way, the species exhibit sexual dimorphism – the females don't have such bright feathers and their beaks are "ordinary".

The adult birds feed mostly on fruit though sometimes they may eat insects, small reptiles and mice.

The female birds build nests in rock crevices from clay and twigs. Such a nest may weigh up to 4 kg! Unlike the male, the female usually spends nights in the nest even after the chicks left it.


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