The Andean Cock-of-the-rockRupicola peruvianus, is a medium-sized passerine bird of the Cotinga family native to Andean cloud forests in South America. It is widely regarded as the national bird of Peru. It has four subspecies and its closest relative is the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock.
The species exhibits marked sexual dimorphism; the male has a large disk-like crest and scarlet or brilliant orange plumage, while the female is significantly darker and browner. Gatherings of males compete for breeding females with each male displaying its colorful plumage, bobbing and hopping, and making a variety of calls. After mating, the female makes a nest under a rocky overhang, incubates the eggs, and rears the young, all by herself.
It is distributed all across the Cloud Forest of the Andes. The species is patchily distributed across its range of about 260,000 square km. Even though it is being affected by its habitat destruction, the Andean Cock-of-the-rock is not near enough to the threshold of becoming threatened.
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is a medium-sized passerine, approximately male has a large disk-like crest and brilliant scarlet or orange plumage. It has black tail and wings, and pale grayish scapulars. The female is significantly drabber and browner than the male and has a less prominent crest. The bill is yellowish in the male, and dark with a small yellow tip in the female. Depending on gender and subspecies there are significant variations in the color of the iris, ranging from red over orange and yellow to bluish-white in the male, and whitish over reddish to brown in the female. In addition to the display calls described in the breeding section below, foraging birds give a loud querulous "uankk?" when disturbed or in flight.
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is distributed in cloud forests of the Andes. It lives in a large range of about 260,000 km² across Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, and Bolivia, mostly in ravines and forested streams in montane areas at 500–2400 meters elevation. It typically stays in the lower and middle forest levels, but will range higher in fruiting trees and will sometimes enter and cross clearings. It is generally shy and inconspicuous, often seen only briefly after being flushed out or while swiftly flying down a valley.
Male Andean Cock-of-the-rock choosing the best lekking position At the lek males have been observed to break up into pairs, performing "confrontation displays". This consists of facing each other while bowing, jumping, and flapping their wings, sometimes even snapping their bills, and at the same time giving off various squawking and grunting calls. When the female approaches, it becomes even more intense. The display turns into a cacophony of bright color and a frenzied activity filling the air with very strange sounds.
The worldwide population size and trends in population numbers have not been determined, but is it believed that the Andean Cock-of-the-rock is not threatened.