WHATTLE I DO?
by J.E. Rogers
Hello, Friends. It’s been a long couple of weeks, but we’re back and once more exploring the wild, weird and unusual world of animals. I've decided to travel to Colombia and Ecuador to learn about the Long-Wattled Umbrella bird.
Photo credit: Peterhorrell.com
This is a very weird bird, but the above picture doesn’t reveal anything strange, except maybe that comb over. Elvis would be proud.
Photo credit: menshairstylestoday.com
The name, Long-Wattled, comes to us from a distinct feature of the male of the species. The crest of the male is pretty spectacular, but its extraordinary feature is the long wattle that hangs down from its chest. A wattle is a fleshy, wrinkled, and in some cases a brightly colored skin flap that hangs from the neck and throat of birds, and lizards.
A rooster’s wattle hangs from its throat and it is not feathered.
Photo credit: Wikipadea
In the case of this week’s guest, the wattle hangs from the chest and is feathered. The below picture shows the wattle in a relaxed state. When inflated, the wattle looks like a long, black pine cone.
Photo credit: prbirds.com
An inflated wattle looks like a black pine cone.
Photo credit: dougwechster.com
The wattle can reach a length of one and a half feet. So what’s it all about? Like most birds, the males have all the lovely stuff. For instance:
Photo credit: Sergio Coutinho
The above picture is a Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. Any female would envy this get-up. Alas, in the bird world, it’s the guys who dress up. Although the Long-Wattled Umbrella bird is not colorful, it is no less impressive to the ladies of its species.
This display is meant solely for the girls, and the Long-Wattled Umbrella bird goes to great lengths to attract a mate. The male will raise its crest and swing its wattle. This garish display is accompanied by grunting sounds. In the following videos, you will see the Long-Wattled Umbrella Bird 'showing off' for the girls.
This bird is considered ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN*. Like many other endangered animals, this bird is severely effected by habitat destruction. However, a huge national park in Colombia has been created and will help to ensure the survival of this very unusual bird. The Long-Wattled Umbrella Bird has a direct impact on its environment. It is a fruit eater and seed dispersal is important in keeping the forest in which it lives healthy.
To read more about this week’s unusual guest, visit the following sites:
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this post and will share it.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza, The Gift of Sunderland and
One Hot Mess, A Child’s Environmental Fable
Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!
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