The lowland and highland rainforest of the Neotropics contains a dazzling variety of colourful and unusual non-songbirds.
This order only contains the Tinamous. They are related to the rheas and other ratites.
There are some 46 species, and they are only found in Central and South America.
Merganetta armata, 'Torrent Duck'. An unusual duck that has adapted to swimming and diving through the waters of fast flowing rivers. Distributed all the Andes.
'Torrent Duck', female.
Chaemaepetes goudoitii, 'Sickle-winged Guan'. Dark brown and rusty coloured Guan with blue face. Found in the subtropical rainforests of the slopes of eastern and western Andes.
Ortalis guttata, 'Speckled Chachalaca'.
Penelope obscura, 'Dusky-legged Guan'. Disjunct populations: found in and around rainforest in the Andes and the Atlantic forest.
Penelope jacquacu, 'Spix's Guan'. Found in rainforest and edge in northern South America, particularly around Andes foothills.
Pipile cumanensis, 'Blue-throated Piping Guan'. Closely related and perhaps the same species as Pipile pipile, 'Trinidad Piping Guan'.
Zentrygon frenata, 'White-throated Quail-Dove'. Found in mountain rainforest along the Andes.
Opisthocomus hoazin, 'Hoatzin'. Large bird with blue face and messy crest. Climbs about noisily in waterside trees clumsily, often stretching and grunting. Unlike most other birds, it is mostly a folivore. Found in swampy habitats in South America.
Tigrisoma lineatum, 'Rufescent Tiger Heron'. Adults have a brown back, a rufous head, neck and belly, with a white stripe. The juveniles are blotchy black and rufous. They are mostly found around more open freshwater wetlands, but this one seen tucked away in rainforest. Distributed across much of South and Central America.
Cathartes melambrotus, 'Greater Yellow-headed Vulture'.
Trogons are often colourful birds. They sometimes sit motionless on branches, allowing some good photographs, if you can find them! They live in the rainforests of Africa, tropical Asia and the Neotropics.
Trogon personatus, 'Masked Trogon'. Found in mountain rainforest of South America.
Trogon viridis, 'Green-backed Trogon'. Males have dull green back and dull blue throat, with a bright yellow belly and white eye rings. Females have grey rather than the blue and green. Found throughout forest and edge, across much of tropical South America.
Baryphthengus martii, 'Rufous Motmot'. Found in the rainforests of central America and south to the Andes.
Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis, 'White-eared Jacamar'. Large red bill, like a kingfisher. Found in swamps and rainforest in north-western South America.
Monasa nigrifrons, 'Black-fronted Nunbird', 'Monja de Frente Negra'.
Eubucco bourcierii, 'Red-headed Barbet', male on left, female on right. Found in the rainforests of Central America and south to the Andes.
Semnornis ramphastinus, 'Toucan Barbet'.
There are some 40 species in this family. They have usually medium to large sized birds, always with large bnills and bright colours. All species are all restricted to the Neotropics. Here, they are the New World equivalent to the Hornbills of the Old World tropics of Africa and Asia.
Ramphastos vitellinus ariel, 'Ariel Toucan'. Found in lowland rainforest along the central and southern Brazilian coast. At the present time, this is considered a subspecies of Ramphastos vitellinus, 'Channel-billed Toucan'. This variable species is found in various habitats across the humid parts of tropical South America. The colours vary considerably and confusingly and over it's large range; the colour around the eye can be red or blue, and the throat can be white, yellow or bright orange.
Ramphastos ambiguus ambiguus, 'Black-mandibled Toucan'. This is a subspecies of the Ramphastos ambiguus, 'Yellow-throated Toucan' . Found in lowland and upland rainforest from Central America and south along the Andean upland rainforest to southern to Peru.
Andigena laminirostris, 'Plate-billed Mountain Toucan'.
Aulacorhynchus haematopygus, 'Crimson-rumped Toucanet'. Found in the mountain rainforest of the Andes.
Melanerpes cruentatus, 'Yellow-tufted Woodpecker'. Found in rainforest and woodlands in northern South America.
Herpetotheres cachinnans, 'Laughing Falcon', 'Snake Hawk'. Small, with distinctive black face mask and white breast. As suggested by common name, has a laugh like call. As suggested by other common name, reported to specialize in feeding on snakes (however it is a Falcon, not a Hawk). Found in lower altitude forests in Central and South America.
South and Central America has a diverse range of parrots. Many species are variations on green and often go unnoticed, but there is one group that stands out - the Macaws. There are some 19 species, and they are all native to the Neotropics, distributed as far north as Mexico. This group of genera include some (relatively) smaller species of parrot, but it is the larger and more colourful species that literally stick out. Compared to other parrots, these larger species usually have a paler face, massive curved bill, and very long tails. They are thought of as rainforest parrots, but they are also found in the open woodlands. Each individual macaw has a different pattern on its face, uniquely identifying each one like a humans fingerprint.
Ara ararauna, 'Blue and Yellow Macaw'.
Ara macao, 'Scarlet Macaw', 'Aracanga'.