The grey-winged trumpeter is a ground bird closely related to cranes and rails. It is a poor flier and prefers to run from danger.

What They Eat

Grey-winged trumpeters eat insects, fallen fruits, and vegetable matter.

Where They Live

These birds inhabit the tropical forests of the Northern Amazon and Guiana Shield in South America.

What They Do

Trumpeters are very social birds and often travel in groups of 5-8 individuals. There is typically one female in the group and the rest are males. When not in breeding season, trumpeters can form groups of up to 50 individuals.

How They’re Doing

Due to deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, populations of grey-winged trumpeters are decreasing. Populations are also decreasing due to hunting. They are easy hunting targets due to their lack of flying abilities.

Where in the World

South America


Dense tropical rainforests

Conservation Status


Animal Facts

Body height: 17.7-20.4 inches
Weight: 2.2-3.3 pounds
Lifespan: unknown in wild; up to 20 years in zoos

Taxonomic Category


Where at the Zoo

Tropics Trail

-Indigenous people often keep trumpeters as pets. The trumpeter’s loud alarm call can alert people to the presence of snakes or other predators.

-The grey-winged trumpeter’s name was comes from the grey color of some of their wing feathers.

-Trumpeters are cavity nesters and lay their eggs in hollow trees.

-Courtship displays involve elaborate dancing, jumps, and even somersaults.

Grey-winged trumpeter populations are decreasing due to deforestation and hunting. Forests of the Amazon River basin are being cleared for roads, cattle ranching, and crop production. The trumpeter’s poor ability to fly also leaves them prime targets for hunters.  Trumpeters are likewise commonly caught and kept as pets due to their natural “guard dog” like behavior.

Sherman, P.T., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2014). Grey-winged Trumpeter (Psophia crepitans). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2014). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 July 2015).