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The Coco Rico; Rufous-vented Chachalaca

We spotted a bird that alot of persons never sighted but only hear the call “coco rico” “coco rico”. It is found only in the lower Campbell area, Union Island, Bequia and also is the national bird of Tobago. The scientific name: “rufous-vented chachalaca”

The coocooricoo (Rufous-vented Chachalaca) was introduced to Union Island and Bequia and can now be spotted in the bush by a keen observer. The Rufous-vented is the only species of Chachalaca that is known to nest on the ground .

This Rufous-vented Chachalaca is resident in thorny deciduous brushland, gallery forest, and forest patches in the drier lowlands of northeastern Colombia, northern Venezuela, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Although the Rufous-vented Chachalaca usually is identifiable by range and habitat, in Colombia its distribution meets or narrowly overlaps that of the Chestnut-winged Chachalaca (Ortalis garrula); where both species of chachalaca occur, the Rufous-vented is best separated by its plain grey head, lack of rufous primary edging and by its rufous underparts.

The Rufous-vented Chachalaca forages for fruit in flocks of 4-20 birds, although sometimes it can be found in flocks of over 50 birds. This is the only species of chachalaca that is  known to nest on the ground, though like other chachalacas it prefers to nest in trees.

The Rufous-vented Chachalaca

The Rufous-vented Chachalaca



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By: Rashid Azar
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