Pompadour Cotinga Xipholena punicea

David Snow, Arnau Bonan, Sabrina Aeluro, Guy M. Kirwan, and Andrew J. Spencer
Version: 2.0 — Published July 24, 2020


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Very little information.

Walking, Running, Hopping, Climbing, etc.

Within a tree, hops deliberately from branch to branch (35). Often perches quietly in the canopy or subcanopy, although in the early morning and late afternoon, and after or during rain, perches above the canopy on a high bare stub or another exposed branch (2, 1).


Flight above the canopy is strong and undulating, with ‘wings alternately fanned rapidly then closed tightly for an instant’ (8, 2).


No information.

Agonistic Behavior

See courtship behaviors described in Sexual Behavior.


There is no information on territory or home range size. In French Guiana, density estimated as 4.5 pairs per 100 ha (41).

Sexual Behavior

Mating System

Assumed to be polygynous.

Courtship, Copulation, and Pair Bond

While the species is assumed to be polygynous, it is possible that a temporary pair bond is formed very early in the breeding cycle (35).

What presumably is the standard courtship display of Pompadour Cotinga involves a ritualized chase between males (35): two to three males chase each other in a highly ritualized manner, with a fluttering flight, following a distinct dominance hierarchy. When three males are involved, the dominant male flies at and displaces the secondary male, which in turn flies at and displaces the tertiary male. Birds return to the same perches repeatedly during the course of the chases. During these flights, the wings of the male produce a rustling noise, conspicuous at close range but more easily overlooked at a distance (30).

Another display involves a solitary male repeatedly flying back and forth between two perches 20–40 m apart (35).

Social and Interspecific Behavior

Males are often solitary, except during ritualized chasing behavior. Multiple females (or female-plumaged birds) sometimes associate with mixed-species flocks (36). One Pompadour Cotinga (sex?) was observed following a flock including Purple-breasted Cotinga (Cotinga cotinga), Guianan Gnatcatcher (Polioptila guianensis), and Blue-backed Tanager (Cyanicterus cyanicterus) (42).

Snow (35) observed other species of cotinga—Purple-breasted Cotinga (Cotinga cotinga), Spangled Cotinga (C. cayana), and White Bellbird (Procnias albus)—perching in treetops near displaying Pompadour Cotingas, and twice he observed a male Cotinga briefly chasing one of the Xipholena.


No published reports are available of predation on Pompadour Cotinga.

Recommended Citation

Snow, D., A. Bonan, A. Aeluro, G. M. Kirwan, and A. J. Spencer (2020). Pompadour Cotinga (Xipholena punicea), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, S. M. Billerman, and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.pomcot1.02