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Seriemas: Cariamidae - Behavior And Reproduction

Animal Life ResourceBirdsSeriemas: Cariamidae - Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Seriemas And People, Red-legged Seriema (cariama Cristata): Species Account - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, CONSERVATION STATUS


Seriemas are often found either alone or in pairs, made up of male and female mates. Sometimes larger groups, consisting of parents with their offspring, are also seen. They spend most of the day on the ground hunting for food. They spend the night in trees. Seriemas tend to run away rather than fly away when threatened. Among birds, they are very fast runners and can achieve speeds as high as 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour). Their call has been described as a yelping noise. Seriemas often stand in trees or on top of termite mounds to call, which helps the call travel further.

Seriemas are territorial, that is, they defend areas of land from other members of the same species. Disputes over territories are decided by intense calling as well as kicking. Offspring often help their parents defend territories by calling.

Seriemas breed during the rainy season, generally between September and May each year. To convince females to mate, male seriemas perform struts and leaps and also show the normally hidden feathers of their wings and tails. Both the male and female help in building the nest, which is made from sticks and twigs and lined with either clay or cattle dung. Nests are usually built in trees and may be anywhere from 3 to 30 feet (1 to 9 meters) above the ground. The female lays two or three eggs at a time, and these hatch after anywhere from twenty-four to thirty days. Offspring are able to leave the nest after two weeks, and reach adult size at five months of age.

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