• Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: NIKON D5
  • Taken: 19 November, 2018 06:10
  • Focal length: 700mm
  • ISO: 7200
  • Shutter speed: 1/100 s

This is such a unique looking species, unmistakable and like no other bird species.

I’ve encountered it deep in the Canaima National Park in Venezuela, by the camp near Angel falls, and it’s just incredible to see the orange plumage stand out from the all-green foliage.

Getting close to them at a lek, the site where the males display and compete for females, is difficult as they are very sensitive to disturbance. Some sites have been abandoned due to humans using flash or simply being to loud in their chit-chatting. They only display at these leks at the break of dawn, and when the light finally reaches that of lower ISO setting and less noise on the exposure, they’re far gone. This makes them even more elusive to capture during their lek displays as it is so dark, that they often are mere shadows to the eyes.

As with so many species, also this one is threatened by human encroachment, and even though a site is known for a lek, money rules and a primary forest will be cut down if the price is right. I encountered one such location in Ecuador where the local birders and eco-tourism operators were very concerned that a land owner was likely only interested in the highest price, and not protecting the fores and the local tourism for a sustainable future.

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola peruvianus)

It sounds like this:

Elevation: 2039 meters

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: NIKON D5
  • Focal length: 700mm
  • ISO: 7200
  • Shutter speed: 1/100 s

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