Brightening Up a Gloomy Winter Day


WC was sorting through old photos the other day and found a set of photos of Andean Cocks of the Rock, taken in Southern Ecuador – almost at the Peru border – taken in 2011. The birds down that way are a different subspecies than the birds posted last year, more a bright orange than a bright red.1 Otherwise, their habits, including the noisy, boisterous lekking, seem to be much the same.

Andean Cock of the Rock, 2011

Andean Cock of the Rock, 2011

These two birds had just finished their morning lekking chorus, and were foraging for berries. Like other Cotinga species, Cocks of the Rock are important seed dispersal agents in the tropical forests.

Andean Cock of the Rock, 2011

Andean Cock of the Rock, 2011

As is almost always the case with this species, these birds were photographed in early morning light, under a dense jungle canopy, and at the bottom of a steep-walled gulch. But the bright colors – and this day-glo species is like an arc lamp in the jungle – may lessen the gloom of a wintery Monday morning.

 


  1.  Rupicola peruvianus peruvianus, if you want to be pedantic, as opposed to R.p. aequatorialis 
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