Detroit Zoo African Spoonbill

Southern screamer

At the Detroit Zoo
The southern screamers can be found in the guanaco habitat in the American Grasslands from May through September.

The southern screamer is a large bird with black and gray feathers. Some may have a green-black coloration. Its head is small and covered with downy feathers and features a short, conical, hooked beak. A pair of rings encircles its neck; one is bare white skin and the other is black feathers. Ornamental feathers grow in tufts on the back of the head and also form a slim tuft on the forehead.

Scientific name: Chauna torquata
Continent: South America
Habitat: Tropical and sub-tropical wetlands, including lakes, marshes, flooded grasslands and lagoons
Size: 28 to 37 inches
Weight: 6 to 11 pounds
Diet: Grasses, stems, seeds, berries and leaves of several different kinds of plants; occasionally insects and small animals
Reproduction: Two to seven eggs which incubate for 40 to 46 days
: 15 years in the wild; 35 years in captivity
Conservation Status: Least Concern



Southern screamers establish monogamous relationships that last several years or possibly for the pair's lifetime.

The harsh loud vocalization of these birds can be heard from miles away.