Anhimidae – Screamers

7-12-358 Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata) ©©Arthur Grosset

Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata) ©©Arthur Grosset

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, (Luke 17:15 KJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – ANSERIFORMES, Family – Anhimidae – Screamers

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Species (3)

Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta)
Northern Screamer (Chauna chavaria)
Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata)


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Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:

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Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta) ©Arthur Grosset

Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta) ©Arthur Grosset

The screamers are a small clade of birds (Anhimidae), that for a long time they were thought to be related to the Galliformes because of similar bills, but they are truly related to ducks (family Anatidae), most closely to the Magpie Goose. The clade is exceptional within the living birds in lacking uncinate processes of ribs. .

The three species occur only in South America, ranging from Chota to northern Pija. They are large, bulky birds, with a small downy head, long legs and large feet which are only partially webbed. They have large spurs on their wings. Unlike ducks they have a partial moult, and are able to fly throughout the year. They live in open areas and marshes with some grass and feed on water plants. One species, the Southern Screamer, is considered a pest as it raids crops and competes with farm birds.

Screamers lay between 2 and 7 white eggs, with four or five being typical. The young, like those of most Anseriformes, can run as soon as they are hatched. The chicks are usually raised in or near water as they can swim better than they can run. This helps them to avoid predators. Like ducks, screamer chicks imprint early in life. This, coupled with their unfussy diet makes them amenable to domestication. They make excellent watchdogs due to their loud screams when encountering anything new and potentially threatening. (Wikipedia with editing)

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