Cariama – Red-legged seriema

Did someone say birds don’t participate in marathons? Wait, we have a worthy contestant right here

Strut as proud as a peacock with legs long and slender; we’re talking about the Cariamas — one of the two genera of the only living family under the Cariamiformes order, Cariamidae. Well known as the red-legged seriema, these beautiful creatures make for one of the best-winged predators living on land. So much so that farmers often call a truce with them in exchange for protection for their fields and poultry against other carnivores.

With a well-distinguishable brown plumage (the layer of feathers covering a bird) and a fan-shaped arrangement on the bill, Cariamas prefer open grasslands to inhabit. Guess that’s where they polish their running skills, as they can touch up to 25 km/h (15 mph) and give any human a tight race! Alongside boasting about their strong legs, these red-legged seriemas exercise fantastic vocalization with notes one can hear during dawn and duels from kilometers away.