Chaco chachalaca

Chaco chachalaca
Ortalis canicollis

Photo by Ian Barker (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Chaco chachalaca (en); aracuã-d0-Pantanal (pt); ortalide du Chaco (fr); charata (es); Chacoguan (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Cracidae

This South American birds are found in the Chaco region of south-eastern Bolivia, northern Argentina, Paraguay and south-western Mato Grosso, Brazil.

These birds are 50-56 cm long and weigh 480-600 g.

The Chaco chachalaca is mostly found in swamp forests and moist scrublands, but also in dry savannas, dry forests and plantations. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

They mostly eat fruits, herbaceous leaves, seeds and flowers, but can also eat caterpillars and other invertebrates.

Chaco chachalacas breed in November-February. The nest is a shallow platform, made with sticks, stems and leaves, placed in a tree 2-4 m above the ground. There the female lays 2-4 eggs, which she incubates alone for 24 days. The chicks leave the nest very soon after hatching, but will receive food from parents for the first few days.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population is declining due to habitat destruction caused by overgrazing, fires and wood extraction. It is also hunted and kept as a cage bird, but overall the Chaco chachalaca is not considered threatened at present.

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