Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Rupicola peruviana


Andean Cock-of-the-Rock
The Cock-of-the-Rock, one of the emblematic birds of the Andes, has a strikingly odd appearance resulting from its large bushy frontal crest that  mostly -- in this case entirely -- obscures the bill. The best places to see and photograph them is at the leks where males gather to court females. This picture was taken near dawn at the lek owned and operated by Angel Paz and his family, near Mindo; we climbed down a steep muddy trail in the pre-dawn darkness so we could be in place at the blind from which we could view the males displaying and calling as they moved through the trees. I was lucky that this male perched for a few seconds in almost full view in front of us, and I got the picture. Wow!