Long-Wattled Umbrellabird
Cephalopterus penduliger
Population size
10-20 Thou
cm inch 

The Long-wattled umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger) is a rare species of bird named for its distinct umbrella-like hood. It is also known under several Spanish names such as pájaro bolsón, pájaro toro, dungali, and vaca del monte.


Both the male and the female of this species are short-tailed and carry an erectile head crest; those of the males are slightly longer. The male is distinguished by a large throat wattle of feathers, while females and juveniles have no or a much smaller wattle. The length of the wattle can be controlled, and it can be retracted in flight. The male generally has black-colored shafts in its feathers.



Biogeographical realms

Long-wattled umbrellabirds are found from the southwestern part of Colombia to the province of El Oro in Ecuador, in the bioregion of Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena. They live in humid montane forests on the ridges and sides of the Andes range. These birds do not migrate but may move from high-altitude forests into adjacent lowlands.

Long-Wattled Umbrellabird habitat map

Climate zones

Long-Wattled Umbrellabird habitat map
Long-Wattled Umbrellabird
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Habits and Lifestyle

Long-wattled umbrellabirds are usually seen singly. They search for food during the daytime and roost at night. When sleeping, they resemble a pile of black feathers, with neither their feet nor head visible due to their wings and head crest. Umbrellabirds find flying difficult because of their large size, but can indeed fly short distances, although they tend to be relatively slow and clunky in the air. So, they hop between different branches with the help of their clawed toes. An inflatable wattle on the neck of the bird serves to amplify their loud, booming calls. They can usually be heard early in the morning and in the afternoon.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Long-tailed umbrellabirds are herbivores mostly frugivores and feed on large fruit. However, they may also take invertebrates and small vertebrates.

Mating Habits

27-28 days
1 egg

With the start of the breeding season, Long-wattled umbrellabirds engage in lek mating; the males congregate in common areas (leks) for display, which are visited by the solitary females. Females select a male with prominent secondary traits such as aggression and territorial behavior. Nests are built in trees or tree ferns. The nest is made from moss, leaves, and twigs that are present inside the tree. The nest is made far from the ground so it can be well protected from predators of the eggs. The female lays only one egg and incubates them for about 27-28 days. Only the female incubates and cares for the nestling. She provides food for the nestling on average once per hour. Fledging occurs about one month after hatching.


Population threats

Long-wattled umbrellabirds suffer from habitat destruction through deforestation and agricultural development, and from hunting. The easy-to-locate lek mating areas make these birds particularly susceptible to trapping. They also suffer from illegal pet trade.

Population number

According to IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Long-wattled umbrellabird is 10,000-19,999 individuals or 6,000-15,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List, and its numbers today are decreasing.

Ecological niche

These birds play an important role in their native ecosystem. As they ingest seeds while eating a fruit, they distribute the seeds across the forest floor and spread the plants' range.


1. Long-wattled umbrellabird Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-wattled_umbrellabird
2. Long-wattled umbrellabird on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22700936/93805498
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/282556

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