BIRDS of THE WORLD - An Online Bird Book


Galliformes are heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game birds. Most are plump-bodied with thick necks and moderately long legs, and have rounded and rather short wings. They do not fly well if at all, but walk and run instead for transportation. These birds vary greatly in size from 12-120 cm. Many adult males have one to several sharp horny spurs on the back of each leg, which they use for fighting. They can be found worldwide and in a variety of habitats, including forests, deserts, and meadows. Male courtship behavior includes elaborate visual displays of plumage. Gallinaceous birds feed on a variety of plant and animal material, which may include fruits, seeds, leaves, shoots, flowers, tubers, roots, insects, snails, worms, lizards, snakes, small rodents, and eggs.

Family Phasianidae: francolin, grouse, partridge, pheasant, quail.
Family Cracidae: chachalac, curassow, guan.

Chachalacas, Guans and Curassows

Order Galliformes    Family Cracidae

Cracids are large birds, similar in general appearance to turkeys. The guans and curassows live in trees, but the smaller chachalacas are found in more open scrubby habitats. Many species are fairly long tailed, which may be an aide to navigating their largely arboreal existence. They are generally dull-plumaged, but the curassows and some guans have colourful facial ornaments. The birds in this family are particularly vocal, with the chachalacas taking their name from the sound of their call.

Genus Aburria - 1 species

Guan, Wattled  Aburria aburri   Found: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela
The Wattled Guan has mainly glossy black plumage; yellow wattle hangs from throat.
Image by: 1) Ron Knight  2) Alejandro Tamayo

Genus Chamaepetes

Guan, Black
  Chamaepetes unicolor  Found: Costa Rica, Panama
The Black Guan has black plumage; blue facial skin.
Image by: 1) Charles J Sharp - Costa Rica  2) Hans Switzer - Costa Rica  3) Benjamin Keen - Costa Rica

Guan, Sickled-winged  Chamaepetes goudotii  Found: South America
The Sickled-winged Guan has blue facial skin; rufous underparts. It is found in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Image by: 1) Jerry Oldenettel - Ecuador  2) Beatrice Murch   3) Marcel Holyoak

Genus Crax
One of two genus of curassows. Pauxi is the other genus.

Curassow,  Bare-faced  Crax fasciolata  Found: South America
The male Bare-face Curassow has mainly glossy black plumage; yellow bill with dark tip; gray bare eye-ring; white lower belly; dark legs. Female has mainly black plumage with white bars; yellowish-brown lower belly; dark brown bill; bare eye-ring; pink legs. It is found in Brazil, Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, and extreme northeast Argentina.
Similar to: Black Curassow. Black Curassow has lusher crest than Bare-faced Curassow. Bare-face Curassow has more bare skin on face than Black Curassow.
Image by: 1, 2) Ronald Woan - Brazil  3) Hecht1969   4) Bruno Girin - Brazil  5) Valter Jacinto   6) Jorge Montejo - Brazil
1, 2, 3) Female  4, 5, 6) Male

Curassow, Black  Crax alector  Found: northern South America
The Black Curassow has black upperparts, head, breast; white belly; yellow or orange bill with gray tip; blue-gray legs. Female has white spots on crest.
Similar to: Bare-faced Curassow. Black Curassow has lusher crest than Bare-faced Curassow. Bare-face Curassow has more bare skin on face than Black Curassow.
Image by: 1) Alberto Apollaro  2) Jerry

Curassow, Blue-billed  Crax alberti  Found: Columbia
The male Blue-billed Curassow has black upperparts, head, breast; white belly; white-tipped tail; blue bill with gray tip; bare eye-ring; gray legs. Female has black upperparts, head, breast with white bars; cinnamon belly; gray bill; bare eye-ring; pink legs.
Image by: 1) Hillary Colton - National Zoo  2) Patrick Coin - Jacksonville Zoo  3) Dick Daniels - Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle
1) Female  2) Male

Curassow, Great  Crax rubra  Found: Central America and northern South America
The male Great Curassow has black plumage with a curly crest; white belly; a yellow knob on its bill. Female has three morphs: barred morph with barred neck, mantle, wings and tail; rufous morph with an overall reddish brown plumage and a barred tail; dark morph with a blackish neck, mantle and tail. It is the heaviest species in the family. The only member of its genus that is found in Central America.
Image by: 1, 2) Tambako The Jaguar - Brazil  3, 7) Arthur Chapman - Panama    4) Jerry Oldenettel - Costa Rica    5) Cuatrok77  6) Jerry - Guatemala 
1, 2) Barred morph female  3) Rufous morph female  4) Dark morph female  5 - 7) Male

Curassow, Red-billed  Crax blumenbachii  Found: Brazil
The male Red-billed Curassow has black upperparts, head, breast; white belly; white-tipped tail; reddish bill with gray tip; gray legs. Female has black upperparts, head, breast; rufous barring on wings, upper belly; cinnamon belly; gray bill; pink legs .
Image by: Alberto Apollaro  male

Curassow, Wattled   Crax globulosa  Found: South America
Image by: 1. 2) Dick Daniels - National Aviary  3)   Robin Chen  4) Takomabibelot
1. 2) Pair (male in front)  3) Female  4) Male

Curassow, Yellow-knobbed  Crax daubentoni Found: South America
The Yellow-knobbed Curassow has mainly black plumage; white lower belly. Male has yellow knob on gray bill; female has gray bill.
Image by: 1, 5) Sandy Cole - Sylvan Heights  2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights   5) Granelia Bermúdez  6) Barloventomagico
1 - 4) Female 5, 6, 7) Male

Genus Mitu
The mitu have mainly iridescent black; red legs, tail,. The genders are alike.

Curassow, Crestless   Mitu tomentosum   Found: Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Venezuela
The Crestless Curassow has mainly black plumage; glossed dark blue to purple; chestnut belly; red blil, legs; no crest.
Image by: 1) Biodiversity Library

Curassow, Razor-billed  Mitu tuberosum  Found: South America
The Razor-billed Curassow has mainly black plumage; narrow (razor like) red bill, legs; white tipped tail.
Image by: 1) P Henne  2) lotlhmoq

Curassow, Salvin's  Mitu salvini  Found: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru

The Salvin's Curassow has black upperparts; neck, breast; white belly, tail tip; red bill, legs.
Image by: 1) Smithsonian Wild

Genus Nothocrax - 1 species

Curassow, Nocturnal  Nothocrax urumutum  Found: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru,Venezuela
The Nocturnal Curassow has mainly chesntut-brown plumage. In addition to night time, it may be found in the early morning.
Image by: 1) Jelle Oostrom  2) Smithsonian Wild - Peru

Genus Oreophasis - 1 species

Guan, Horned  Oreophasis derbianus  Found: Mexico, Guatamala
Image by: 1) Josh More  2) Yinan Chen  3) Amy McAndrews - Chiapas, Mexico

Genus Ortalis
Chachalacas are long necked, mainly brown birds found in wooded habitats. They are social, can be very noisy. They somewhat resemble the guans.

Chachalaca, Buff-browed  Ortalis superciliaris  Found: northeastern Brazil
The Buff-browed Chachalaca has dark brown upperparts; pale brown underparts; pale buff supercilium.
Image by: 1) Claudi Timm

Chachalaca, Chaco  Ortalis canicollis  Found: South America
The Chaco Chachalaca has olive-gray back; gray-brown wings; gray head, neck, breast; cinnamon belly, rump. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Image by: 1) Dario Sanches - Brazil  2) Alistair Rae - Brazil  3) Daniele Columbo - Brazil

Chachalaca, Chestnut-winged  Ortalis garrula  Found: Columbia
The Chestnut-winged Chachalaca has brown upperpart; pale underparts; rufescent head; chestnut primaries.
Image by: 1) Diego Calderon  2) Oswaldo Cortes

Chachalaca, Columbian  Ortalis columbiana  Found: Columbia
The Columbian Chachalaca has brown upperparts; speckled lower neck, upper breast; buff belly; gray head.
Similar to: Speckled Chachalaca.
Image by: 1) Mateo Gable  2) Alejandro Tamayo

Chachalaca, East Brazilian   Ortalis araucuan Found: eastern Brazil
Image by: 1) Alex Popovkin

Chachalaca, Gray-headed  Ortalis cinereiceps  Found: Honduras to Columbia
The Gray-headed Chachalaca has brown upperparts; gray head, neck; buff underparts; blackish tail tipped with pale gray-brown.
Image by: 1) Paul Bedel   2) Cathy and Sam - Costa Rica  3) Wanja Krah
1) Pair

Chachalaca, Plain Ortalis vetula Found: southern Texas to northern Costa Rica
The Plain Chachalaca is long-necked with a small head and bare throat. Adults have a greyish head and neck with a dull olive-brown body and wings. The underbelly is pale to ochraceous and the tail is blackish with green gloss and buffy-white tip. The iris is brown and bill is black; orbital skin and the feet are dull grey.
Image by: 1) Alan D. Wilson - Texas  2) Jerry Oldenettel - Texas   3) Dennis Jarvis - Belize  4) Carol Foil - Belize

Chachalaca, Rufous-bellied   Ortalis wagleri   Found: Mexico
The Rufous-bellied Chachalaca has gray-brown upperparts, neck, breast; chestnut belly, under-tail coverts; blackish upper-tail; grayish bill; amber eyes; reddish naked skin around eyes
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Don Loarie

Chachalaca, Rufous-headed  Ortalis erythroptera  Found: Columbia, Ecuador, Peru
The Rufous-headed Chachalaca has brownish-olive upperparts; rusty-colored head, neck; buff belly.
Image by: Francesco Veronesi - Ecuador

Chachalaca, Rufous-vented  Ortalis ruficauda  Found: South America
The Rufous-vented Chachalaca has dark brown upperparts; gray head, neck; buff underparts.
Image by: 1, 3, 4) New Jersy Birds  2) Dominic Sherony

Chachalaca, Speckled  Ortalis guttata  Found: South America (western Amazon Basin)
The Speckled Chachalaca has brown upperparts; speckled lower neck, upper breast; buff belly.
Similar to: Columbian Chachalaca.
Image by:  1, 2) Claudio Timm in Brazil 

Chachalaca, West Mexcian  Ortalis poliocephala  Found: southwestern Mexico
The West Mexican Chachalaca has grayish-brown upperparts, head, neck, upper-breast; white belly; cinnamon under-tail.
Similar to: White-bellied Chachalaca. The White-bellied Chachalacs hsd white under-tail; West Mexican Chachalaca has cinnamon under-tail.
Image by: 1) Cloned Milkmen   2) Francesco Veronesi

Chachalaca, White-bellied  Ortalis leucogastra   Found: southern Mexico to Nicaragua
The White-bellied Chachalaca has brownish upperparts, breast; white belly, under-tail.
Similar to: West Mexican Chachalaca. The White-bellied Chachalacs hsd white under-tail; West Mexican Chachalaca has cinnamon under-tail.
Image by: 1) Jerry Oldenettel - Chiapas, Mexico

Genus Pauxi

Curassow, Helmeted  also Northern Helmeted Curassow  Pauxi pauxi  Found: Columbia, Venezuela
The male Helmeted Curassow has glossy black plumage; white belly, rump; bluish-white knob on forehead; red bill. Female has 2 morphs: one like male with no knob. Other morph has black head, neck; brown upperparts, breast; cream belly, rump.
Image by: 1) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo  2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo   5) Mattei Tarenghi  6) Sandy Cole- Sylvan Heights
1, 2, 3) Female  4) Male   According to Wikipedia, other females are similar to the male!

Curassow, Horned  Pauxi unicornis  Found: Bolivia
Image by: 1) Peter Stubbs

Genus Penelope
There are two guan genus; see also Chamaepetes.
The penelopes contain large turkey-like arboreal species. The range of these species is in forests from southern Mexico to tropical South America. These largish birds have predominately brown plumage and have relatively small heads in comparison with body size.

Guan, Andean  Penelope montagnii   Found: South America
The Andean Guan has brown plumage with whitish edging to feathers of head, neck, breast; small red wattle on throat. It occurs in the highlands of the Andes, from Venezuela and Colombia through Ecuador and Peru south to Bolivia.
Image by: 1) Petruss  2) Peter Bono

Guan, Band-tailed  Penelope argyrotis  Found: Columbia, Venezuela
The Band-tailed Guan has dark rufous-brown upperparts; olive-brown underparts.
Image by: 1, 2) Jerry Oldenettel

Guan, Baudo  Penelope ortoni  Found: western Columbia, northwest Ecuador
The Baudo Guan is the only Penelope guan that has no pale markings on the head.
Image by: 1) Scott Olmstead - Ecuador

Guan, Bearded  Penelope barbata  Found: Ecuador, Peru
The Bearded Guan has mainly brown plumage; silvering on crown, neck; red legs.
Image by: 1) Francesco Veronesi - Ecuador

Guan, Cauca  Penelope perspicax  Found: Columbia
The Cauca Guan has mainly brownish-gray plumage; chestnut aft underparts; bright red dewlap under chin.
Image by: 1) Sergey Pisarevskiy

Guan, Chestnut-bellied
  Penelope ochrogaster  Found: Brazil
The Chestnut-bellied Guan has brown upperparts; chestnut-rufous underparts flecked with white.
Image by: 1, 2) Claudio Timm

Guan, Crested Penelope purpurascens  Found: Central America, northern South America
The Crested Guan has brown upperparts; brown chest with white speckles; rufous belly, rump; blue-gray bare skin around eye; heavy blil; thick crest; red throat wattle.
Similar to: Spix's Guan. Crested Guan has readily apparent crest; Spix's Guan has no crest.
Image by: 1, 2) Jerry Oldenettel - Arenal Volcano Lodge, Costa Rica  3) Jorge Montejo - Mexico

Guan, Dusky-legged  Penelope obscura  Found: South America
The Dusky-legged Guan has dark gray legs; brown upperparts, neck and breast all of which have white-edged feathers; darker head, tail; bare gray face; red wattle on throat;
Similar to: Rusty-margined Guan. Rusty-margined Guan has a more reddish tinge than Dusky-legged Guan.
Image by: 1) csandocampos  2) Cláudio Timm in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil   3, 4) Dario Sanches - Brazil

Guan, Rusty-margined  Penelope superciliaris  Found: South America
The Rusty-margined Guan has dark gray belly with reddish tinge; chestnut back; dark brown head, neck; reddish legs; bluish-gray facial skin;
Similar to: Dusky-legged Guan. Rusty-margined Guan has a more reddish tinge than Dusky-legged Guan.
Image by: 1) Fabio Maffei - Brazil  2) Zimbres - Brazil

Guan, Spix's  Penelope jacquacu  Found: South America
The Spix's Guan has brown upperparts, breast; chestnut belly; white scaly look on back, breast.
Similar to: Crested Guan. Crested Guan has readily apparent crest; Spix's Guan has no crest.
Image by: 1) Arthur Chapman   2) YamezA - Peru  3) siwild - Peru

Guan, White-browed  Penelope jacucaca  Found: northeast Brazil
The White-browed Guan has blackish-brown plumage; white supercilium
Image by: 1) BioDivLib  2) Arthur Grosset

Guan, White-crested  Penelope pileata  Found: Brazil
The White-crested Guan has dark green upperparts; chestnut colored underparts.
Image by: Henrik Gronvold

Guan, White-winged  Penelope albipennis Found: Peru
No other guan is known to share White-winged Guan's range.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) David Cook - Chaparrí Lodge, Chaparrí Private Conservation Area, Lambayeque, Peru

Genus Penelopina - 1 species

Guan, Highland  Penelopina nigra  Found: highlands of Mexico, Central America
The male Highland Guan has blue-black plumage; red wattle, bill; blue skin around the eyes.Female has rufous-brown plumage; red bill; blue skin around the eyes.
Image by: 1) Josphe Wolf  2) Fernando Reyes Palencia - Guatemala   3) Amy McAndrews - Mexico   4) Jorge Montejo - Mexico
1) Pair  2, 3, 4) Male

Genus Pipile
The piping-guans.

Guan, Black-fronted Piping-  Pipile jacutinga  Found:  Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay
The Black-fronted Piping-Guan has blue-black plumage; white head, nape; black forehead; bold white eye-ring; white patch on wings.
Similar to: Blue-throated Piping-Guan. Black-fronted Piping-Guan has bold white eye-ring; Blue-throated Piping-Guan has white face.
Image by: 1) Bruno Girin - Brazil  2) Alexandre Augusto - Brazil  3) lotlhmoq

Guan, Blue-throated Piping-  Pipile cumanensis  Found: South America
The Blue-throated Piping-Guan has blue-black plumage; white head, nape; white forehead; white patch on wings.
Similar to: Black-fronted Piping-Guan. Black-fronted Piping-Guan has bold white eye-ring; Blue-throated Piping-Guan has white face.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - San Francisco Zoo  3) Drew Avery 4) Just Chaos

Guan, Red-throated Piping  Pipile cujubi  Found: Bolivia, Brazil
The Red-throated Piping-Guan has mainly black plumage; white patches on upper-wing covert; white crest; some blue facial skin; red gular patch on throat.
Image by: 1) Claudio Timm  2) Amy McAndrews

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