Colombian Chachalaca – Ortalis columbiana

Most Guans and Chachalacas are big arboreal birds, and can show great agility when jumping from branch to branch on the top of the canopy some 20 or 30 meters above the ground. They perch to eat fruits and also to roost in the night. Most species avoid the ground but come down sometimes in search of fruits and seeds. The Colombian Chahcalaca is found in the Andes Region, having brown coloration but with an scaled look thanks to gray tips of the feathers’ barbs. Their head and beak is gray, and it has a bright red dewlap that is folded and inconspicuous, although it can hang freely and thus be seen clearly when the bird is high in the trees. The legs are also red. While shy of people, this species will come to fruit feeders and stay there undisturbed unless you get to close.

A portrait of this big bird as it climbed onto the feeder. Normally shy birds, but can be approached rather close when enough food is present.
Like most Chachalacas, this species is very agile, climbing into trees to grab fruits and perching very high into the canopy.

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