La Oferta

December 3, 2023

Biologist: Spotting red-ruffed fruitcrow in Uruguay is bittersweet

Montevideo, Jun 4 (EFE).- Biologist and photographer Santiago Carvalho, who recently became the first photographer to image the red-ruffed fruitcrow in Uruguay, told EFE that spotting the bird in the South American country was bittersweet because it means that it is being driven from its original habitat due to “climate change and deforestation.”

Carvalho emphasized that the red-ruffed fruitcrow is a species that is native to the South American Atlantic coastal thickets but he recently spotted it in Cerro Largo province in northeastern Uruguay.

The red-ruffed fruitcrow (Pyroderus scutatus) is a large bird, some 45 cm (18 inches) long and known for its black breast and red throat feathers, the biologist said.

A Montevideo native, Carvalho said that the individual he photographed surely came from the Grande River in Brazil, with the species also inhabiting the coastal areas of Paraguay and Argentina, although it was thought not to have moved into Uruguay.

He was at the home of some friends in Paso Centurion and said that he ran across the male bird – known as the “yacutoro” in Spanish – “sort of by chance.”

“There are other birds that have recently appeared along the Uruguay-Brazil border, particularly in Cerro Largo, like the Surucua trogon (Trogon surrucura) and the large-tailed antshrike (Mackenziaena leachii),” the expert said, adding that these are mountain birds that are now moving into more tropical environments.

The discoveries of these birds out of their heretofore native zones in Uruguay “is something nice for birdwatchers,” but the migrations mean that they are being driven out of the home ranges “by climate change and deforestation.”

Carvalho’s next project – or self-imposed challenge – along with other Uruguayan birdwatchers, will be to photograph the blue manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata), a species “that is … being found closer and closer to Uruguay.”