Scientists Observe Courtship Ritual of Peru's National Bird

The Cock-of-the-Rock has its own particular brand of matchmaking in Manu National Park.

The Cock-of-the-Rock has its own particular brand of matchmaking in Manu National Park.

El Gallito de las Rockas, or Cock-of-the-Rock, is Peru’s national bird and tends to prefer the cloud forests of Peru’s tropical rainforest regions. Why is the Cock-of-the-Rock Peru’s national bird? It’s because their colors are a strikingly close match to the Peruvian flag, reports the Guardian.

Stephen Moss, a writer for the Guardian, traveled personally to Manu National Park to join up with the scientists of the Crees Foundation, a group that carries out both investigation and tourist expeditions into the park. This is what they observed:

A small gathering of these red-orange birds making a cacophony of shrieks and showing off their plumage to another group of birds, waiting and watching out of sight. The showoffs were the males, the hidden admirers were the females. In the end, it is the latter who do the choosing.

The team also observed a “standoff” between two of the males as the dawn broke through the foliage, competing for who could call out the loudest and strongest, and then turn to face each other “as if admiring each other’s performance”.

Manu National Park is home to many natural wonders besides the Cock-of-the-Rock. Share your own stories from the Peruvian Amazon with us here at Living in Peru!



Mike grew up and eventually attended university in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated in Integrative Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Urban and Regional Planning and has been a part of planning projects in three different countries. Mike’s passion is reading; he devours both literature and nonfiction. His favorite author is Peru’s own Julio Ramón Ribeyro.