Psophia Linnaeus, 1758
* Syst.Nat.ed.10 p.154
The trumpeters are a small family of birds restricted to the forests of the Amazon and Orinoco basins in South America. They are named for the trumpeting or cackling threat call of the males. The three species resemble chickens in size; they measure 45 to 52 centimeters (18 to 20 inches) long and weigh 1 to 1.5 kilograms (2.2 to 3.3 pounds). They are dumpy birds with long necks and legs and curved bills and a hunched posture. Their heads are small, but their eyes are relatively large, making them look "good-natured". The plumage is soft, resembling fur or velvet on the head and neck. It is mostly black, with purple, green, or bronze iridescence, particularly on the wing coverts and the lower neck. The secondary and tertial flight feathers are white, gray, or greenish to black, and hairlike, falling over the lower back, which is the same color. These colors give the three species their names.
Trumpeters fly weakly but run fast; they can easily outrun dogs. They are also capable of swimming across rivers. They spend most of the day in noisy flocks, sometimes numbering more than 100, on the forest floor. They feed on fallen fruit (particularly fruit knocked down by monkeys). They also eat a small amount of arthropods, including ants and flies, and even some reptiles and amphibians. At night they fly with difficulty into trees to roost 6 to 9 meters (20 to 30 feet) above the ground.
Trumpeters nest in a hole in a tree or in the crown of a palm tree. They lay 2 to 5 eggs with rough, white shells, averaging about 76 grams (2.7 ounces). In the Pale-winged Trumpeter and the Grey-winged Trumpeter, groups of adults care for a single clutch.
Trumpeters are often used as "guard dogs" because they call loudly when alarmed, become tame easily, and are believed to be adept at killing snakes. One source states this as a fact, and the nineteenth-century botanist Richard Spruce gave a very circumstantial account of the friendliness and snake-killing prowess of a tame Grey-winged Trumpeter. For these reasons Spruce recommended that England import trumpeters to India. However, another source says this prowess is "reputed".
Grey-winged Trumpeter, Psophia crepitans
^ a b c d e f g h i Holyoak, David; Colston, P. R. (2003). "Trumpeters". In Perrins, Christopher. The Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Firefly Books. p. 213. ISBN 1-55297-777-3.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License