Male cock-of-the-rock

Cock-of-the-rock

Dancing kings

Type

flamingo

Birds

Area

South America

South America

Endangered Status

Stable

facts

size
1 foot
in length
cock-of-the-rock on soccer ball.
food
fruit, more
fruitavore

These birds pluck fruit from trees. Sometimes, they eat large insects and small reptiles and frogs.

habitat
rain forest
rainforest

description

Female cock-of-the-rock

Nest building

A female cock-of-the-rock attaches her nest to a vertical rock face, inside a dark cave or under an overhang. She builds the nest from mud and palm fibers. It may take her a month or longer to get it just right. Then, she’s ready to choose a mate. Females often re-use their nests, adding to them year after year.

Male cock-of-the-rock

Dance-off

Males do their best to attract a female mate. They compete in a courtship display called a lek. Their loud call sound something like a cross between a rooster’s crow and a pig’s grunt—and when one starts, others join in. Their boisterous display is a frenzy of wing-flapping, head bobbing, bouncing, bowing, and hopping. A female chooses the male she likes best.

Cock-of-the-rock chick

Eggs and chicks

A female lays one or two eggs, and incubates them for about 4 weeks. Chicks hatch with straggly tufts of feathers that grow out in all directions, making them look like mini muppets. At first, mom has to feed and care for her chick. Chicks eat mostly fruit, but sometimes mom brings a treat: an insect, a tiny lizard, or a little frog. She feeds a small animal to her chick by pushing it head-first into the eager chick’s mouth.