Red-crested Cotinga Ampelion rubrocristatus
Colombian name: Cotinga Crestada
Red-crested Cotinga, San Lorenzo Ridge, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia, April 2012 - click for larger image Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
April 2012

The Red-crested Cotinga is distributed in the Andes of Colombia (including the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta), Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. See the distribution map at Natureserve.

Red-crested Cotinga, San Lorenzo Ridge, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia, April 2012 - click for larger image

It is found mainly above 2,200 metres in the borders and interior of humid, montane forest and above the normal treeline in Polylepsis and similar forest. It is often perched on tall treetops and so is fairly easy to see.

It is mainly grey with a red-crest which is usually laid flat and can be difficult to see but it can be seen here in photos 2 and 3. Other distinctive features are the white tail-band and the chalky white bill with black tip.

Red-crested Cotinga, San Lorenzo Ridge, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia, April 2012 - click for larger image It feeds mainly on fruit such as mistletoe but also eats some insects.

Its call is a frog-like chatter described by Fjeldså & Krabbe as "somewhat like a big alarm-clock being wound."

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