Family Cotingas (Cotingidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-crested Cotinga (Ampelion rufaxilla)


French: Cotinga à tête rousse German: Braunohrkotinga Spanish: Cotinga cresticastaño

A[mpelis]. rufaxilla


, 1844,

Vitoc Valley, Junín, Peru


Race antioquiae poorly differentiated, perhaps undiagnosable#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. r. antioquiae (Chapman, 1924) – Andes of Colombia (W range in Valle and Cauca, and C range S to Huila) and probably extreme N Ecuador (W Sucumbíos).
  • A. r. rufaxilla (Tschudi, 1844) – Andes of extreme S Ecuador (S Zamora-Chinchipe), Peru, and Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 21 cm; male 71–77 g, female 69–74 g. Long nuchal crest usually at least partly visible, sometimes conspicuously displayed. Nominate race has grey on face,... read more


    Long, guttural “ch-ch-ch-rrrrrreh”, longer than that of A. rubrocristatus;... read more


    Montane forest; 1750–2740 m.

    Food and feeding

    Fruits and insects, the latter regularly taken in flight sallies.


    Little known. Laying recorded in Dec in SE Peru, and female with enlarged ovary collected in Apr in S Colombia. A nest recorded in SE Peru... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to rare, and often rather local, throughout most of range. Very rare and local, and extremely few records, in Ecuador, where first recorded... read more

    Recommended citation

    Snow, D. (2020). Chestnut-crested Cotinga (Ampelion rufaxilla). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).