Southern Screamer or Crested Screamer

Chauna torquata

The Crested (or Southern) Screamer is found in swamps, estuaries and pool coasts in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

They eat vegetation and are heavy birds, weighing in at over 4 kilos. The Screamer’s great defense against hunters is that its meat tastes awful. Indeed, hunters hate them because they act as sentinels and, when disturbed, emit screams that can be heard over 3 kilometres away.

The Screamer is a good swimmer but prefers to move on the ground. When in danger it often retreats to the treetops where it can view the disturbance from a safe distance. The bony spurs on their wings are used for protection against rival screamers and other enemies. Although it is non-migratory, it is an excellent flier, sailing in circles until out of sight according to some witnesses.

The above picture was taken at the zoo of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in August 2003.

Genus Chauna
Family Anhimidae
Order Anseriformes
Class Aves
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth