Pompadour Cotinga Xipholena punicea

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

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Sounds and Vocal Behavior

As in many cotinga species, Pompadour Cotinga is a rather quiet bird. However, studies of its vocal repertoire and displays are lacking, and many details of its vocal behavior remain poorly known.


Vocal Array

Purp. Both sexes give a loud, abrupt, somewhat nasal purp! call, which sometimes is doubled, with the second note lower and quieter (30, 1). It is vaguely reminiscent of the bark of a small, distant dog, or the call of a Barred Forest-Falcon (Micrastur ruficollis), and is essentially identical to the Purp calls of other Xipholena species.

Other calls. The male also is reported to have a loud, frog-like rattling or gurgling vocalization (39, 40), perhaps a song (1), but this is likely in reference to the distinctive wing sonations made during flight displays (see Nonvocal Sounds, below). No recordings of other vocalizations made by this species exist, but further study may reveal a more varied repertoire. Especially interesting would be observations near nests or young.

Geographic Variation

None known.


No information.

Daily Pattern of Vocalizing

Little information. The Purp call has been heard at all times of day, as have the wing sonations made during displays (AJS).

Places of Vocalizing

Calls mostly are given from the high canopy or other exposed perches. Wing sonations are heard during displays between perches in the upper subcanopy, but more information is needed.

Gender Differences

Both sexes give Purp calls. Wing sonations have been recorded only from males.

Repertoire and Delivery of Songs

No information.

Social Context and Presumed Functions of Vocalizations

No information.

Nonvocal Sounds

A surprisingly frog-like, low-pitched rustling mechanical sound is produced by the wings of the male during the flight display (30, 1). During observations in Vaupés, eastern Colombia, ritualized flight displays involved moving from one perch in the high subcanopy to another (35), with slower and more exaggerated wingbeats than in normal flight (AJS). Much lower pitched than wing sonations made by White-winged Cotinga (Xipholena atropurpurea); more research is needed to see if other mechanical sounds are produced in either display or normal flight.

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