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Psophiidae – Trumpeters

Grey-winged Trumpeter in Guyana: Photo by Luke Seitz

The trumpeters are large, vocal birds known for their loud, resonant calls, which give them their name. Endemic to the rainforests of South America, these gregarious birds form tight-knit family groups and are often seen foraging on the forest floor. Their unique behavior, elaborate vocalizations, and intriguing social structures make them a captivating subject for birdwatchers and researchers alike. With striking plumage and a graceful, distinctive walk, trumpeters are a fascinating component of the tropical ecosystem.

Overview for Psophiidae

Trumpeters are medium-sized birds found in the lowland rainforests of South America. Known for their loud calls when disturbed, they often roam around villages and are believed to protect chicken flocks from predators, becoming frequent commensals. With a long neck and a small head held high, trumpeters have a distinctive hunchbacked profile accentuated by hair-like feathers covering their slightly arched wings. The birds’ soft, silky plumage enhances their unusual appearance. Despite their seemingly bulky build and long legs, trumpeters surprisingly nest in tree cavities.