Chachalacas, Guans
and Curassows
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia

The chachalacas, guans and curassows are birds in the family Cracidae.

These are species of tropical and subtropical Central and South America. One species, the Plain Chachalaca, just reaches southernmost Texas in the USA.

These are large birds, similar in general appearance to turkeys. The guans and curassows live in trees, but the smaller chchalacas are found in more open scrubby habitats. They are generally dull-plumaged, but the curassows and some guans have colourful facial ornaments.

These species feed on fruit, insects and worms. The nest is built in a tree, and two to three large white eggs are laid; the female alone incubates.

The Cracidae are an ancient group related to the Australasian mound builders. They are related to other gamebird groups as follows:

    • Family Megapodiidae: mound builders
    • Family Cracidae:
      • The chachalacas
        • Plain Chachalaca, Ortalis vetula
        • Grey-headed Chachalaca, Ortalis cinereiceps
        • Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Ortalis garrula
        • Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Ortalis ruficauda
        • Rufous-headed Chachalaca, Ortalis erythroptera
        • Rufous-bellied Chachalaca, Ortalis wagleri
        • West Mexican Chachalaca, Ortalis poliocephala
        • Chaco Chachalaca, Ortalis canicollis
        • White-bellied Chachalaca, Ortalis leucogastra
        • Speckled Chachalaca, Ortalis guttata
        • Little Chachalaca, Ortalis motmot
        • Buff-browed Chachalaca, Ortalis superciliaris
      • The guans
        • Band-tailed Guan, Penelope argyrotis
        • Bearded Guan, Penelope barbata
        • Baudo Guan, Penelope ortoni
        • Andean Guan, Penelope montagnii
        • Marail Guan, Penelope marail
        • Rusty-margined Guan, Penelope superciliaris
        • Red-faced Guan, Penelope dabbenei
        • Crested Guan, Penelope purpurascens
        • Cauca Guan, Penelope perspicax
        • White-winged Guan, Penelope albipennis
        • Spix's Guan, Penelope jacquacu
        • Dusky-legged Guan, Penelope obscura
        • White-crested Guan, Penelope pileata
        • Chestnut-bellied Guan, Penelope ochrogaster
        • White-browed Guan, Penelope jacucaca
        • Trinidad Piping-Guan, Pipile pipile
        • Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Pipile cumanensis
        • Red-throated Piping-Guan, Pipile cujubi
        • Black-fronted Piping-Guan, Pipile jacutinga
        • Wattled Guan, Aburria aburri
        • Black Guan, Chamaepetes unicolor
        • Sickle-winged Guan, Chamaepetes goudotii
        • Highland Guan, Penelopina nigra
        • Horned Guan, Oreophasis derbianus
      • The curassows
        • Nocturnal Curassow, Nothocrax urumutum
        • Crestless Curassow, Mitu tomentosa
        • Salvin's Curassow, Mitu salvini
        • Razor-billed Curassow, Mitu tuberosa
        • Alagoas Curassow, Mitu mitu
        • Northern Helmeted Curassow, Pauxi pauxi
        • Southern Helmeted Curassow, Pauxi unicornis
        • Great Curassow, Crax rubra
        • Blue-billed Curassow, Crax alberti
        • Yellow-knobbed Curassow, Crax daubentoni
        • Black Curassow, Crax alector
        • Wattled Curassow, Crax globulosa
        • Bare-faced Curassow, Crax fasciolata
        • Red-billed Curassow Crax blumenbachii
    • Family Tetraonidae: grouse
    • Family Phasianidae: partridges, pheasants, quail, and allies
    • Family Odontophoridae: New World quail
    • Family Numididae: guineafowl
    • Family Meleagrididae: turkeys
    • Family Mesitornithidae: mesites
    • Family Turnicidae: buttonquail