Purple-breasted Cotinga (Cotinga cotinga)
Male Purple-breasted Cotinga, Carajás, Pará, Brazil, January 2002 - click for larger image Carajás, Pará, Brazil
January 2002

The Purple-breasted Cotinga is found in the Guianas, Brazil south of the Amazon from Manaus to the Carajás area, north of the rivers Amazon and Negro and just over the borders into Colombia and Venezuela.

It feeds almost exclusively on large fruits and is usually seen in the early morning perched high near fruiting trees. It seems to have a preference for being close to sandy-belt forest or savannah forest and we found several in Carajás near the boundary between forest and "canga" which is the local name for the cerrado type vegetation growing on the iron ore rich areas.

The male, as shown in the photo, is a deeper blue than the Spangled Cotinga (Cotinga cayana) and its purple extends much lower down. The female is dark brown above and light brown below with buffy white edges to the feathers giving an overall scaled appearance.

There is an illustration in Hilty & Brown, Plate 34.

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