Cotinga (genus)

Cotinga cayana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cotingidae
Genus: Cotinga
Brisson, 1760

7, see text.

Cotinga is a genus of passerine birds belonging to the cotinga family, Cotingidae. It contains seven species. They are found in tropical rainforest in South and Central America from southern Mexico to south-east Brazil. They feed mainly on fruit and forage high in trees.

They are 18-22 cm long. The males have highly colourful plumage; bright blue with areas of purple. The blue colour is produced by air bubbles in the feathers which scatter light. Females are much duller than males and are mainly brown, often with pale feather edges giving them a scaled or speckled appearance.

The wings of the males make a whistling or rattling noise in flight.

Deforestation is a threat to several members of this genus. The Turquoise Cotinga is classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and the Banded Cotinga is considered to be Endangered.

Species list


  • Perrins, Christopher, ed. (2004) The New Encyclopedia of Birds, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Ridgely, Robert S. & Gwynne John A. (1989) A Guide to the Birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, Princeton University Press.
  • de Schauensee, Rodolphe Meyer & Phelps, William H. (1978) A Guide to the Birds of Venezuela, Princeton University Press.
  • Souza, Deodato (2002) All the Birds of Brazil: An Identification Guide, Dall.