Aruco/Horned Screamer/Anhima cornuta

Anhima cornuta
Anhima cornuta

Nombre en español: Aruco

Nombre en ingles: Horned Screamer

Nombre científico: Anhima cornuta

Familia: Anhimidae

Foto: Guillermo Gomez/Rodrigo Gaviria

Audio:  Peter Boesman (xeno-canto)

El aruco (Anhima cornuta) es una especie de ave anseriforme de la familia Anhimidae, propia de Sudamérica, emparentada con el chajá. Ampliamente extendida, sus poblaciones ocupan buena parte de Colombia, Venezuela, Brasil, Ecuador, Perú, las Guayanas y Bolivia. Es el ave insignia del departamento colombiano de Arauca.

Nombres comunes

También se conoce como camungogritón arucobuitre de ciénagachajá añuma i kamichí.

Características

Es un ave de cuello largo, patas altas y alas provistas de dos robustos espolones en el carpo. Lleva en la cabeza un copete de consistencia córnea. Mide 60 cm de altura y dos metros de envergadura. Es de color negruzco, con reflejos verdosos, salvo la garganta que es gris, y el vientre, que es blanco.

Hábitat

Arauco, ave insignia del departamento colombiano de Arauca.

Vive al borde del agua en las selvas de América Central y del Sur. En el Ecuador, vive en el área de la costa conocida como la Reserva de Churute.

Comportamiento

Suele andar en parejas o pequeños grupos familiares. Construyen nidos flotantes en los esteros y descansa sobre árboles altos. Pasa la mayor parte de su tiempo pastoreando sobre la vegetación flotante o descansando sobre la copa de los árboles, desde donde emite sonidos guturales que le sirven para demarcar su territorio.

Alimentación

Como ave herbívora representa, junto con aves frugívoras, granívoras y nectarívoras, el nivel de los consumidores primarios de la cadena trófica en los llanos colombovenezolanos. Se alimentan de diferentes partes de las plantas: brotes, hojas tiernas, raíces, flores y frutas.

Horned screamer

The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) is a member of a small family of birds, the Anhimidae, which occurs in wetlands of tropical South America. There are three screamer species, the other two being the southern screamer and the northern screamer in the genus Chauna. They are related to the ducks, geese and swans, which are in the family Anatidae, but have bills looking more like those of game birds.

Description

The horned screamer is a massive 84–95 cm (33–37.5 in) long, 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) bird, with a small chicken-like bill. The upperparts, head, and breast are black, with white speckles on the crown, throat and wing coverts. There is a long spiny structure projecting forward from the crown. This structure is unique among birds and is not derived from a feather but is a cornified structure that is loosely attached to the skull and grows continuously while often breaking at its tip. This gives this species its name. It has very long and lanky legs and three large toes in each. The belly and under wing coverts are white. It has two sharp spurs on its wings and feet which are only partially webbed.

The horned screamer’s call, as its name suggests, is a very loud echoing sound. It is called”El Clon-Clon” in Ecuador because of this peculiar feature.

Distribution, habitat and behavior

The horned screamer is found in lowlands from Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Suriname, French Guiana, and Guyana. It is now extinct in Trinidad and Tobago. Despite having declined locally, it remains widespread and is fairly common overall. Its range in Brazil appears to have expanded in recent years.

It lives in well-vegetated marshes and feeds on water plants. Its nest is a large pile of floating vegetation anchored in shallow water. Three olive-brown eggs are laid, and the young, like those of most Anseriformes, can run as soon as they are hatched.

As a symbol

The horned screamer is the official bird of the Department of Arauca and the Municipality of Arauca in Colombia and it is also a symbol in the National Reserve of Churute in Ecuador. The department and its capital are named after the bird, which is called Arauco in Spanish.

The bird appears in the arms of Tietê, Brazil.

Anhima cornuta

Wikipedia/eBird

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