Birds of Colombia

    GALLIFORMES: Cracidae (Chachalacas, Curassows, Guans)  
Genus: Ortalis (7 species, 16 worldwide)

Chachalacas (genus Ortails) are gamebirds found in 'New World' tropical forests. Chachalacas are in the same order as guans and curassow (Cracidae), but are smaller. Most species travel in groups, and are quite loud.

Grey-headed Chachalaca
Grey-headed Chachalaca (Ortalis cinereiceps)
Valle de Anton, Panama  
Photograph by Tom Friedel   © All Rights Reserved.

Colombian Chachalaca
Colombian Chachalaca (Ortalis columbiana) ENDEMIC
Huila, Colombia  
Photograph by Tom Friedel   © All Rights Reserved.

Most closely related to the Speckled Chachalaca which also has a scaled chest. Chachalacas further north (Grey-headed Chachalaca, Plain Chachalaca, Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Chestnut-winged Chachalaca) are not scaled. The species is found only in Magdalena and Cauca valley at most altitudes, and does not overlap with the Speckled Chachalaca (and also has no speckles).

Rufous-headed Chachalaca
Rufous-headed Chachalaca (Ortalis erythroptera) Vulnerable
Buenaventura, El Oro, Ecuador  
Photograph by Tropical Birding (Nick Athanas)   © All Rights Reserved.

Chestnut-winged Chachalaca
Chestnut-winged Chachalaca (Ortalis garrula) ENDEMIC
Photograph by Manakin Nature Tours - Luis UrueƱa   © All Rights Reserved.

Very similar to Grey-headed Chachalaca, but entire head is chestnut.
Distinctive chestnut head closeup.

Speckled Chachalaca
Speckled Chachalaca (Ortalis guttata guttata)
Villa Carmen, Pilcopata, Peru  
Photograph by Tom Friedel   © All Rights Reserved.

Little Chachalaca
Little Chachalaca (Ortalis motmot)
French Guiana
  Note red head.
Photograph by Michel GIRAUD-AUDINE   © All Rights Reserved.

Rufous-vented Chachalaca
Rufous-vented Chachalaca (Ortalis ruficauda ruficauda)
Hato Aurora, Casanare, Colombia
  Note lack of streaking or scales.
Photograph by Tom Friedel   © All Rights Reserved.

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