The trumpeters are a family of birds restricted to the humid forests of the Amazon of South America. They are named for the trumpeting or cackling threat call of the males. The three species resemble chickens in size; they measure 18 to 20 inches long and weigh 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. 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. 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 20 to 30 feet above the ground.
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. The three species with their subspecies are listed below.
The map sows the range of the three species:
Grey-winged, Pale-winged and Dark-winged.
Grey-winged Trumpeter, Psophia crepitans
Grey-winged Trumpeter, Psophia (crepitans) crepitans
Napo Trumpeter,
Psophia (crepitans) napensis
Pale-winged (or White-winged) Trumpeter, Psophia leucoptera
White-winged Trumpeter, Psophia (leucoptera) leucoptera
Ochre-winged Trumpeter,
Psophia (leucoptera) ochroptera
Dark-winged Trumpeter, Psophia viridis
Green-winged Trumpeter, Psophia (viridis) viridis
Brown-winged Trumpeter,
Psophia (viridis) dextralis
Dark-winged Trumpeter,
Psophia (viridis) obscura