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Grey-winged Trumpeters

Grey-winged TrumpeterThe Grey-winged Trumpeter (Psophia crepitans) is a member of a small family of birds, the Psophiidae, which occur only in the Amazon basin in tropical South America. There are three trumpeter species, all in the genus Psophia, the other two being the Pale-winged Trumpeter and the Dark-winged Trumpeter.

The Grey-winged Trumpeter is found north of the Amazon River in Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and northeastern Peru.

This is a dumpy, guineafowl-like bird with a long neck and legs, and short yellow chicken-like bill. It is 48-56 cm long and 1.3 kg in weight. The soft plumage is mainly black, but the feathers of the inner wing are grey.

These are gregarious forest birds which nest in hollow trees, laying 3-4 white eggs that are incubated by all members of a group of five or more birds. When not breeding, the flocks may number 50 or more. Their food is insects and fruit, picked off the ground. They are weak fliers, and will run by preference.

The Grey-winged Trumpeter's song is a low humming, but its call, as its name suggests, is a very loud JEEK or honking TZAAK. This bird is kept as a pet by Amerindians, since it is easily tamed, hunts snakes, and is a very efficient sentinel, with its unmissable alarm call.

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