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Crested Guan

The Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens), is a member of the bird family Cracidae. It is found in the lowlands from south Mexico and the
Yucatán Peninsula to western Ecuador and northern Venezuela at up to 6000 feet in altitude. Its habitat is forests. Due to deforestation and hunting, the range of the Crested Guan is limited and thus threatened.

It is a large species, 34 inches in length and weighing 3.75 pounds. It is similar in appearance to a turkey, with a small head, long strong red legs, and a long broad tail. It is mainly dark brown, with white spotting on the neck and breast. The rump and belly are brownish-red. The head sports a bushy crest, from which the species gets its name, blue-gray bare skin around the eye, and a bare red dewlap or wattle. Sexes are similar.

The nest is built in a tree or stump and is lined with leaves. The female lays two or three large white eggs. The female incubates the eggs alone. It is a social bird, often seen in pairs or in groups of 6 – 12. It walks along branches seeking the fruit and foliage on which it feeds. It is a noisy bird and gives a loud plee or quonk call, a whistle call, and a prevailing keLEEEErrrr morning song.

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Crested Guan


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