Friday Fellow: Nothern Screamer

by Rafael Nascimento

A relative of the southern screamer and the horned screamer that is much less known is the northern screamer (Chauna chavaria). These three birds form the family Anhimidae, which, despite superficially not looking like, are relatives of the ducks and geese (previously they were thought to be relatives of the chickens, the Galliformes).

Tachã-de-pescoço-preto. Foto de Brodie Ferguson.*

The northern screamer. Photo by Brodie Ferguson.*

Measuring 76 to 91 cm and being slightly smaller than the southern screamer, with which it shares the genus, the northern screamer is characterized by a darker overall plumage and a larger black mark on the neck. These birds are very vocal and remarkable because of their crests.

While the horned and the southern screamers have a wide distribution, the northern screamer is a rare bird and is considered “near threatened” by the IUCN. It can only be found in north Colombia an northwest Venezuela, inhabiting marshes, lakes and river banks of forest areas. Most of its food is composed by plant material, such as roots, leaves, sprouts and other parts of aquatic plants.

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References:

BirdLife International. 2015. Chauna chavaria. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22679726A83833043. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T22679726A83833043.en. Acessado em 21 de abril de 2016.

Carboneras, C., Boesman, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2016). Northern Screamer (Chauna chavaria). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (Retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/52792 in April 21, 2016).

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Creative Commons License
*This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

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