Red Crested Cotinga
Red Crested Cotinga

The Red Crested Cotinga (Ampelion rubrocristatus) is a colourful and striking bird species native to South America. It is known for its bright red crest and vibrant blue plumage, making it a popular subject for birdwatchers and wild photographers. This guide provides an overview of the Red Crested Cotinga, including its physical characteristics, habitat, behavior, and conservation status.

Physical Characteristics:

The Red Crested Cotinga is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 30 cm in length and weighing around 100 g. It has a distinctive appearance, with a bright red crest on its head, blue-green upperparts and bright yellow underparts. The male and female are similar in appearance, although the male tends to have a more vibrant coloration. The Red Crested Cotinga also has a long, slender beak and long, broad wings.

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Habitat and Distribution:

The Red Crested Cotinga is found in the  Andes regions of South America, from Venezuela to Bolivia. It typically inhabits humid forests and wooded areas, often near bodies of water. The Red Crested Cotinga is a non-migratory species and tends to stay in the same area year-round.


The Red Crested Cotinga is a social bird and is often seen in small groups or flocks. It is an active species and can frequently be seen perching on branches or flying through the forest canopy. The Red Crested Cotinga is an omnivorous species and feeds on a variety of foods, including fruit and insects.

The Red Crested Cotinga is also known for its vocalizations, which include a variety of calls and songs. The male Red Crested Cotinga has a distinctive song that consists of a series of high-pitched, whistling notes.

Conservation Status:

The Red Crested Cotinga is classified as a species of “Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is still at risk due to habitat loss and degradation. The Red Crested Cotinga’s habitat is being impacted by logging, agricultural expansion, and urbanization, which can lead to the loss of food sources and nesting sites.

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The Red Crested Cotinga is a beautiful and fascinating bird species that is worth seeking out for birders and photographers. Its striking appearance and vocalizations make it a rewarding subject to observe and photograph. However, it is important to recognize the potential threats to the Red Crested Cotinga’s habitat and work to protect this species and its environment for future generations.

Colourful Birding invites you to discover beautiful bird gardens that can be visited and that create a space of protection for many animal species. Do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information about our bird photography travels.