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Black curassow

Crax aleactor

Photo by Patrick Ingremeau (Oiseaux)

Common name:
black curassow (en); mutum-poranga (pt); hocco alector (fr); paujil negro (es); glattschnabelhokko (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Cracidae

This species is found in northern South America, from central Colombia and Venezuela, through the Guyanas and intro Brazil north of the Amazon river.

These birds are 85-95 cm long and weigh 3,2-3,6 kg.

The black curassow is found in tropical rainforests and gallery forests, but also in old plantations and scrublands, especially along rivers and forest edges. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.700 m.

They mainly feed on fruits, especially those of Eugenia and Guarea, but will also take leaves, buds, shoots, invertebrates such as snails and grasshoppers, frogs, flowers and mushrooms.

Black curassow breed in December-September. The nest is a small platform made of sticks, lined with leaves and bark, placed in a tree about 5 m above the ground. There the female lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated for 30-32 days. The chicks can leave the nest soon after hatching and fledge about 1 month later.

IUCN status – VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. However, the black curassoe is espected to decline at a moderatle fast rate based on current models of Amazonian deforestation, also being threatened by hunting and trapping, particularly in French Guiana.

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