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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Although Pompadour Cotinga is very widespread, very few nests have been reported, and little is known about its breeding biology.


The very few known nests have been reported in March (Guyana, 39; Venezuela, 1), July (northern Brazil; 43), August (northern Brazil), and September (northern Brazil; 43). Barreiros (43) suggested from these records that breeding primarily occurs in each region during the local dry season, although molt data indicated to Kirwan and Green (1) that breeding may occur throughout the year, and indeed specimens in breeding condition have been collected in Suriname from August to March (1).

Additionally, Snow observed courtship displays in Guyana in March (35). Specimens with enlarged gonads or with an egg in the oviduct have been reported in February from southern Venezuela (7), March in Guyana (1), August in northwestern Brazil (1), and October in south-central Brazil (10); and a female was observed gathering hair-like nesting material in September in eastern Colombia (8).

Nest Site

Site Characteristics

Pompadour Cotinga nests high (18–35 m) above the ground, in the canopy of a tree, or in tall bamboo. Nests are placed in the fork of a branch or bamboo shoot (39, 1, 43).


Construction Process

Presumably constructed entirely by female. At one nest, a female brought small sticks and other material, arranging them while sitting in the partially constructed nest (43).

Structure and Composition

The nest is a very simple open cup. It is very small, barely fitting the incubating female, and constructed mostly of small sticks and moss (43). Two nests described in Brazil differed in size and depth as a result of where they were constructed: one was very shallow as it was constructed in a horizontal fork, while the other was deeper and constructed in in a vertical fork (43). A nest in Venezuela was described as a ‘deep open-cup’ (1).


Very little information.


The dimensions of one egg were 30.8 × 22.2 mm (39).

Clutch Size

Appears to lay a single-egg clutch.

Color and Surface Texture

Egg color is described as very pale greenish gray, heavily marked with drab spots and splotches, especially around the larger end (39), and as ‘bluish-gray… with dark brownish spots and splotches’ (43).


Incubation Period

No information.

Parental Behavior

Only the female incubates. At one nest, the female left the nest several times for less than five minutes during 100 minutes of observation (43).


No information.

Young Birds

Condition at Hatching

No information.

Growth and Development

Chicks 1–2 days old have small white feathers (43). As chicks grow, they develop feathers that are white with gray patches, described as similar to moss or lichen (43).

Parental Care


Only the female broods the nestlings. At one nest, female spent much of her time shading chick from the sun (43).


Only the female provisions the nestlings; at one nest, a female brought fruit to a nestling (43).

Nest Sanitation

The female consumes the nestling’s feces (43).

Cooperative Breeding

Not reported.

Brood Parasitism by Other Species

No information.

Fledgling Stage

No information.

Immature Stage

No information.

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