Horned Screamer, Anhima cornuta

The Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta) is a species of bird native to the wetlands of tropical South America. It is found in lowlands from
Colombia and Venezuela south to Brazil and eastern Bolivia. It is now extinct in Trinidad. Despite having declined locally, it remains widespread and is overall fairly common. Its range in Brazil appears to have expanded in recent years. They are related to the ducks, geese and swans, but have bills looking more like those of game birds. There are three screamer species, the other two being the Southern Screamer and the Northern Screamer in the genus Chauna.

This bird is 33 to 38 inches long and weighs 7.7 pounds. It has 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 quill projecting forward from the crown, which gives this species its name. The belly and under wing coverts are white. It has two sharp spurs on its wings, and feet which are only partially webbed.

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 can run as soon as they are hatched. The call is a very loud U-WHO or honking YOIK-YOK.

The Horned Screamer is the official bird of the Department of Arauca and the Municipality of Arauca in Colombia. 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.

Photo Copyright and Credit