Red-legged Seriema - Cariama cristata
It is said that the Red-legged Seriema, Cariama cristata, and its relative Black-legged Seriema (Chunga burmeisteri), both included in the poorly known Cariamidae Family, are the closest living relatives of giant predatory Cenozoic birds. However, despite their large size, loud vocalizations, and overall conspicuousness, relatively little has been published on this family, which is surprising considering how common they are in many areas of South America.
Cariama cristata is known for eating a large range of small animals, and is famous for being on of the few species that will eat venomous coral snakes. These birds are monogamous and territorial.
The Red-legged Seriema occurs in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and is often associated with open, seasonally inundated conditions such as mesic savanna or wetland periphery.
Other common names: Chuna Patas Rojas, Chuña Patas Rojas.
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Photo credit: ©Peter Schoen | Parque Nacional Serra da Canastra, Minas Gerais, Brazil (2010)