Family Screamers (Anhimidae)

Least Concern

Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata)


French: Kamichi à collier German: Halsband-Wehrvogel Spanish: Chajá común

Chaja torquata


, 1816,

“in Paragai, um Plata”




Bolivia and S Brazil to C Argentina; also extreme SE Peru#R.

Descriptive notes

80–95 cm; c. 2700–4400 g. Sexes alike, with prominent occipital crest of pointed feathers, grey head and upperparts, becoming fuscous-coloured on flight feathers... read more


Voice is loud, far-carrying (up to 3 km) and somewhat goose-like; frequently heard both in flight... read more


Tropical or subtropical wetlands, including lakes, lagoons, marshes, flooded fields and meadows.... read more

Food and feeding

Green parts of succulent, aquatic plants; seeds, leaves, roots and stems of vegetables and other crops. Also a limited amount of animal... read more


Mostly during austral spring, with first eggs in Sept/Nov, but also in other months. Long-term monogamous pair-bonds. Solitary and... read more


Mostly sedentary; somewhat nomadic outside breeding season, when large flocks may form and wander... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Apparently most abundant of screamers, with estimated population of 100,000–1,000,000 individuals, but also most subject to... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata). 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 24 May 2019).