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William Price | all galleries >> Birds of Brazil >> Cotingas and Manakins > Black-and-gold Cotinga
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Black-and-gold Cotinga

Black-and-gold Cotinga


Tijuca atra

Macăe de Cima, a private reserve owned by renowned orchid expert David Miller

Found only in south-east Brazil, this species is in fact almost endemic to Rio de Janeiro state. Its haunting song has given it one of the species' Brazilian name, the Saudade, a name suggestive of longing for someone or something that is much missed.

The genus Tijuca comprises two closely related but dissimilar montane cotingas, namely the Black-and-gold Cotinga, which is strongly dimorphic (the female being olive-green), and the Grey-winged Cotinga, which virtually lacks any plumage differences between the sexes (and is very similar in plumage to the female Black-and-gold). Tijuca appears to reflect a close association with the Andean ‘green’ pihas, formerly genus Lipaugus but which have been recently moved to their own genus, Snowornis (Prum 2001), and thus once more evidences the biogeographical links between the southern and central Andes and the mountains of south-east Brazil. The Grey-winged Cotinga’s vocalisation is also reminiscent of one of the Snowornis, and both species of Tijuca appear to have lek displays (albeit of differing natures), shared with some Lipaugus and Snowornis. At least one recent genetic study has recovered evidence of a close relationship between Lipaugus and Tijuca (Ohlson et al. 2007). Both species of Tijuca are dependent on the viability of montane forests that are relatively free of development pressures, but not of incursions from campers, walkers, etc. Both are also confined to very small ranges within the Serra do Mar Centre of endemism (Cracraft 1985). Nesting ecology is probably similar in both species, coinciding with the onset of the austral summer.

Canon EOS 30D
1/500s f/8.0 at 420.0mm iso200 full exif

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