COCK-OF-THE-ROCK

Resplendent in viridian and black plumage, the male cock-of-the-rock struts his stuff in the cloudforests of the Andes. Hopping from branch to branch, bobbing, bowing, whirring, clucking and chasing off rivals, these flamboyant members of the Cotinga family (which also includes bellbirds and umbrella birds) use communal leks to woo females. Once mating is over, the female is left to build a nest – usually under a rocky overhang – and rear the young on her own. The Andean cock-of-the-rock feeds mainly on fruit, although insects and even frogs and lizards are also occasionally taken.

Spotting tip: Take the overland journey to Manú Biosphere Reserve in Peru, spending a night in a cloudforest reserve en route, and you can often observe the courtship behaviour at a cock-of-the-rock lek from specially positioned hides.

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Wildlife Wishlist was founded by zoologist, conservationist and award-winning travel writer and photographer William Gray. Sharing his passion for wildlife and recommendations for responsible travel, Will has spent around 30 years tracking down the world's best wildlife holiday experiences.

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