Crested Screamer (Chauna torquata)


Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata), also known as the Crested Screamer

The Southern Screamers (Chauna torquata) – also commonly referred to as Crested Screamers, are endemic in South America.

Their estimated lifespan is about 15 years.


Distribution / Range

They are found in southeastern Peru, northern Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina. They inhabit tropical and sub-tropical swamps, estuaries and watersides.

During the non-breeding season, this non-migratory species is usually seen in large flocks, feeding on the ground in grasslands and cultivated fields.

When breeding, they will typically pair off.



The Southern Screamer measures about 83–95 cm (33–37 in) in length and weighs about 4–4.5 kg (8.8–9.9 lb).

These excellent swimmers have partially webbed feet and the bony spurs on their wings are used for protection against rivals and predators.

Southern Screamers (Chauna torquata), also known as the Crested Screamers - Couple

Crested Screamers (Chauna torquata) with chicks

Breeding / Nesting

The Southern Screamers establishes monogamous relationships that last a lifetime.

Their noisy courtship calls can be heard for up to two miles away.

Their large platform nests are constructed out of reeds, straws and other aquatic plants. They are placed in inaccessible places near water.

The clutch consists of two and seven white eggs. Both the male and female share the incubation, which lasts for 43 – 46 days.

The young are able to leave the nest soon after hatching; but the parents will continue to care for them for several weeks.

They usually take their first flight when they are about 8 – 14 weeks old.


Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on plants stems, seeds, leaves, and, occasionally, small animals.

Crested Screamer (Chauna torquata) - Preening

Crested Creamer Chick

Crested Screamer Chick

Crested Screamer (Chauna torquata) - Stretching its wing


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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