Family Screamers (Anhimidae)

Least Concern

Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta)


French: Kamichi cornu German: Hornwehrvogel Spanish: Chajá añuma

Palamedea cornuta


, 1766,

eastern Brazil




Tropical South America from Colombia (including Cauca and Magdalena Valleys) and Venezuela to S Brazil (recently recorded in Espírito Santo#R); also in Guayas, W Ecuador.

Descriptive notes

80–94 cm; c. 3000–3150 g; wingspan 170 cm. Unlikely to be confused with ample range. Sexes basically alike, having mostly greenish-black plumage, speckled white... read more


Voice is very loud, far-carrying and somewhat goose-like; mainly calls during early morning and... read more


Moist tropical forest, swamps and grassy meadows near rivers; also in llanos of Venezuela... read more

Food and feeding

Leaves, stems, flowers and roots of aquatic plants, with predilection for succulent parts. Also small proportion of insects, consumed... read more


Mostly during austral spring or summer, with eggs in Nov/Dec, but also in other months. Long-term monogamous pair-bond; in Colombia... read more


Apparently sedentary, with local movements outside breeding season, mainly of juveniles or non-... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and locally common, though probably declining slowly in most areas with intensive human pressure; overall population... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta). 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 18 March 2019).