Bearded Bellbird

(Procnias averano)
By far one of the loudest and most peculiar forest bird species one is likely to see, the Bearded Bellbird – also called the Mossy Throated Bellbird or Campanaro because of its beard-like wattles and metallic sound – can easily be heard and recognized during forest excursions. These pigeon-sized Bellbirds are of a small group of four species which form part of the Cotinga family and are distributed throughout most of the American tropics. All Cotingas are adorned with strange appendages, colours and/or have odd behaviours. Unlike other Cotingas, Bellbird males are raucous birds (heard over great distances), performing explosively loud croaks or bell-like sounds used mainly to advertise their territories. These forest birds can be heard and observed displaying within the sub-canopy regions of the forest (30-80 feet up). While the Bearded Bellbird is the only resident species in Trinidad, it is often heard rather than seen. Among the best places to see this special bird is along the nature trails of Asa Wright Nature Centre.