The bare-necked umbrellabird feeds mainly on fruit, supplemented with lizards, frogs and large insects. Food items are plucked from the vegetation in flight, or taken while perched, and larger prey items may be beaten against a perch before being swallowed (2) (6). The species has also been recorded joining flocks of other birds foraging on prey flushed by swarming army ants (8). In Costa Rica, the bare-necked umbrellabird’s seasonal movements have been shown to coincide with the periods of highest fruit abundance at different altitudes (7).
Although the bare-necked umbrellabird is usually solitary, small groups may occur during seasonal movements, and when males are displaying (5). Breeding occurs between March and June (2) (5) (6), although only one nest has ever been described, which was rather bulky, built in a tree, from twigs, leaves and moss, and contained a single egg. Incubation is performed by the female (6). During the breeding season, male bare-necked umbrellabirds perform elaborate courtship displays in widely spaced, loose groups, in areas known as leks. During display, the male will inflate air-sacs in the throat and expand the red wattle, then give a deep, resounding, double-barrelled ‘boom’, also leaning forward in a short bow and extending the frontal crest forward. Harsh, hacking calls may also be given (2) (5) (6). Females visit the leks and mate with the dominant males (2). The male bare-necked umbrellabird appears to return to the same displaying area each year (6) (7).