Fun Horned Screamer Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
May 01, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Horned screamer facts about the family of birds, which occurs in wetlands of tropical South America.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The horned screamer (Anhima Cornuta) is a bird species that is native to the wetlands of South America. In their habitat of South America, there are three types of horned screamers- horned screamers, southern screamers, and northern screamers.

Of the three species of screamers, the horned screamer is the largest. The horned screamer (Anhima Cornuta) very seldom drinks water from local water bodies, but when they do they consume water by dipping their heads in the water body and taking large gulps.

Screamers resemble game birds in terms of appearance. They are closely related to geese, swans, and ducks but are now extinct in Trinidad and Tobago.

When young birds are born, they do not have any horn but as they grow old, the horn develops. But there is no practical purpose for these horns as they are strictly for ornamental purposes. Their horns are not fixed to their skull and tend to break easily, but in due time it grows back.

Here are some of the most interesting facts about the horned screamer, afterwards do check our other articles on tawny owl facts and carrion crow facts as well.

Horned Screamer Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a horned screamer?

The horned screamer (Anhima cornuta) is a bird that belongs to the Anhimidae family of birds. Screamers are not known to migrate at all (like magpies) and live in one particular place for an extended period. Their skin has a distinctive system of tiny air sacs that help it to produce a crackling sound.

What class of animal does a horned screamer belong to?

The horned screamer (anhima cornuta) belongs to the Aves class of animals as it is a bird. Their habitat is located across several countries in South America such as Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and French Guiana.

How many horned screamers are there in the world?

Horned screamers are not as considered an endangered species. These birds of South America are found in a good-numbered population in South American regions and are considered to be a species of least concern. The distribution of horned screamer birds is quite stable across its habitat. But this species is now extinct in Trinidad and Tobago.

Where does a horned screamer live?

The horned screamer has its habitat along waterside vegetation in South America. It is found in Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, and Guyana. In recent years, its population in Brazil has grown. These birds of South America are native species in the Neotropical zone.

What is a horned screamer's habitat?

This bird lives in marshy areas that are well-vegetated where it can easily feed on different types of water plants. Birds of this species are spotted in the morning on trees and bushes or in the water. The screamer will come to the ground in search of food.

Who do horned screamers live with?

These breeding birds live in small groups in water. Birds of these species have two main purposes for coming to land, preening, and standing. These birds with chicken-like bills can live in groups of up to 5-10 birds in one territory. These together-living birds take care of their nests, food, and mates.

How long does a horned screamer live?

The expected lifespan of these birds ranges between 12-15 years in their natural habitat of wetlands and marshes.

How do they reproduce?

During the breeding season, males bow their heads one to three times in front of females. Then when they are on land, males mount females for approximately ten seconds while grabbing the female's neck with their bills.

The horned screamer bird has a nest filled with floating vegetation where the female lays up to three eggs. When the newborn is born, it can leave the nest and run soon after hatching. There are different mating behaviors found in these animals.

Females incubate the eggs during the day. Males take over the incubation when females take short breaks, especially at night.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of horned screamers is a species of Least Concern under the IUCN Red List. These birds of Southern America are not considered an endangered species. Their population faces threats only from reckless hunting practices. But this species is now extinct in Trinidad and Tobago

Horned Screamer Fun Facts

What does a horned screamer look like?

This species has very long lanky legs and each of them has three toes at the end. Its belly is also white like its wing coverts.

It has partially webbed feet. Their bodies are heavy and large. These Anseriformes are mostly recognized by the two bone spurs at each wing.

The horn-like structure that gives this bird its name is made of cartilage. Of the three species of screamers, the horned screamer is the largest. The horns do not serve a function in their lives, they are just ornamental.

These horns are harmless, however, these screamers are not. The belly and under wing coverts in these birds are white and this bird species has two sharp spurs on its wings and feet that are partially webbed.

Horned screamer is a breeding bird that is an omnivore in terms of diet.

How cute are they?

They are not very colorful as they are only two colors that are mainly found on their bodies, black and white. So they may or may not be found cute by some people. They are very loud too. However, they look good in appearance.

How do they communicate?

This bird is a very loud bird that makes an echoing sound. They are less vocal than other screamers. Their skin and bones have a distinctive system of tiny air sacs that help them produce a crackling sound.

How big is a horned screamer?

A horned screamer is a very heavy-bodied bird and a large one too. The range of length varies between 28-36 in (71-91 cm). Of all the other three screamers, horned screamers are the largest.

How fast can a horned screamer fly?

These birds are not migratory so they do not travel by flying. Even when they come on land, it is only because in search of food.

They hardly fly, they are mainly around water. The air sacs present under the skin and bones help the bird remain light and thus fly with minimal effort. They have two sharp spurs on their wings and feet that look majestic while flying.

How much does a horned screamer weigh?

The average weight of the horned screamer is between 7.0-7.7 lb (3-3.5 kg). Their weight is managed by their diet of plant stems, seeds, roots, and leaves.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male horned screamer is known as cock and the female horned screamer is known as hen, like their North American counterparts. Both males and females prefer wet habitats.

What would you call a baby horned screamer?

Baby horned screamers are known as hatchlings or chicks. When the young birds are born, they do not have any horn but as they grow old, the horn develops into a proper structure.

What do they eat?

The horned screamer spends its time grazing grasses in and around plants and water sources. These birds of northern South America also dig in the mud. The diet of tropical birds varies based on their age and physical requirements. The adult bird's diet is largely herbivorous with seeds and plant stems while the young birds feed largely on insects.

Are they dangerous?

These birds of northern South America can be dangerous when they are angry. They are not poisonous or venomous. These horns are harmless. However, these screamers are not.

Would they make a good pet?

No, as it is illegal to own a horned screamer as a pet in some countries.

Did you know...

The horned screamer is also known as a horned banger and it is a bird belonging to the Aves class of animals. It belongs to the small family of birds, known as Anhimidae. These horns are harmless. However, these screamers are not.

The air sacs present under the skin make the meat of this bird taste bad to most people, and as such their usage as a source of meat is extremely limited.

What other birds are horned screamers closely related to?

There are three types of screamers: horned screamers, southern screamers, and northern screamers.

How many eggs do horned screamers lay?

The females, on average, lay three eggs at a time.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including Guam rail facts or common kingfisher facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our horned screamers coloring pages.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

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Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

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Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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