Red-ruffed Fruitcrows

The Red-ruffed Fruitcrow (Pyroderus scutatus) is a South American endemic that is found in humid forests, especially in highlands and have a highly disjunct distribution.

Populations exist in the Tepuis (mountains) in Venezuela and Guyana, the east Andean slopes in Peru, Andean slopes in north-western Ecuador, Colombia and western Venezuela, the Venezuelan Coastal Range, and Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina.


This is one of the largest passerines in South America – although it is surpassed by another cotinga, the Amazonian Umbrellabird.

This species is primarily black with a pale bluish bill. Some subspecies have brown underparts. They have a bright orange-crimson patch on the throat (superficially resembling the smaller male Purple-throated Fruitcrow).

Females look similar, except they are smaller in size.


Males gather in loose leks (competitive mating displays), where they call to attract the females.

Photo of author

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