Wednesday, June 13

Horned screamer | American birds

   ›      ›   Birds of South America - Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta

The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) belongs to the family of screamers, the Anhimidae.

The horned screamer species is distributed in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname. These screamer species are probably extinct in Trinidad and Tobago. These screamers are monotypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Horned Screamer Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) is a large screamer, measuring 80 to 95 cm in length and weighing 3000 to 3150 grams. The wingspan is 170 cm.

The horned screamer has blackish upperparts, head and breast. There are whitish speckles on the crown, throat and wing coverts. The crown has a long spiny structure projecting out.

This spine is a cornified structure, loosely attached to the skull. It grows continuously and may been seen broken at the tip. The belly, vent region and underwing coverts are whitish.

The bill is short, dark gray and slightly bent downwards. The irises are pale yellow. The legs and feet are long and pale gray in color. The call of these species is a very loud, echoing goose-like sound.
Birds of South America - Photo of Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta
1.Birds of South America - Photo of Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta by Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes


Birds of South America - Photo of Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta
2.Birds of South America - Photo of Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta by Vincent Vos

Birds of South America - Photo of Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta
3.Birds of South America - Photo of Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta by Josh More

Birds of South America - Photo of Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta
4.Birds of South America - Photo of Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta by Pierre Pouliquin

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These horned screamer species are distributed in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname. They are possibly extinct in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these screamer species in Venezuela is Reserva de Fauna Silvestre Ciénagas de Juan Manuel, Aguas Blancas y Aguas Negras.

Ecosystem and habitat

These horned screamer species have low forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 800 meters.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these species include tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, tropical and subtropical flooded grasslands, wetlands, marshes, swamps and peatlands.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these horned screamer species consists mainly of plant matter. A variety of seeds of wild plants, flowers, stems and other plant material are their primary food. They forage on the floating vegetation.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these horned screamer species appears to be prolonged. These species are monogamous and territorial.

The nest is a pile of aquatic vegetation in the shallow waters. The clutch contains three olive brown eggs. Soon after hatching the chicks can run and swim.

Migration and movement patterns

These screamer species are non-migratory resident birds.

Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Horned screamer - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Anhima cornuta
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1766)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Palamedea cornuta Linnaeus, 1766
  • Family: Anhimidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Horned screamer, Chinese: 角叫鸭, French: Kamichi cornu, German: Hornwehrvogel, Spanish: Chajá añuma, Russian: Рогатая паламедея, Japanese: ツノサケビドリ
  • Other names: Horned Screamer
  • Distribution: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname
  • Diet and feeding habits: aquatic plant parts, seeds, flowers, leaves, stems, insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be decreasing.

In most of its range, this screamer species is reported as widespread and locally common. The generation length is 5 years. Its distribution size is about 12,300,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration, fragmentation and destruction, human intrusions and disturbance, commercial hunting and capture for pet-trade are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these species.

IUCN and CITES status

The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the screamer species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the horned screamer (Anhima cornuta).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Anhima cornuta
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Anseriformes
Family:Anhimidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Anhima
Species:A. cornuta
Binomial name:Anhima cornuta
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) is related to the ducks, geese and swans.

The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) is closely related to the southern screamer (Chauna torquata) and the northern screamer (Chauna chavaria).
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1.Horned screamer photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wagner-machado-carlos-lemes/3227970265/ (cropped)
Photo author: Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 6/13/18
2.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/134590413@N03/20249121270/ (cropped)
Photo author: Vincent Vos | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 as on 6/13/18
3.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/guppiecat/22163993895/in/photostream/
Photo author: Josh More | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 as on 6/13/18
4.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pierre_pouliquin/261138528/in/photostream/ (cropped)
Photo author: Pierre Pouliquin | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 as on 6/13/18
Current topic on Birds of South America: Horned screamer - Anhima cornuta.
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