Northern Helmeted Curassow

Northern Helmeted Curassow Pauxi pauxi

Type of Animal:

Cloud forest, humid mountain forest, rainforest

E Colombia & W Venezuela

Large black bird w/ small head, large bluish-gray casque on forehead, red bill, white belly, dark greenish glossed mantle/breast feathers, pinkish legs, white areas on long tail. Males larger than females & have larger casques.

Seeds, fruit, greens, leaves, nuts, buds, grasses, grains, insects, small rodents, frogs, reptiles

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers. Helmeted Curassow Bird Reserve in Colombia’s E Andes established in May 2007 to conserve species & preserve key habitat.

Male-female pairs

Additional Info:

Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Pair
Male: 8 lbs
Female: 5.8 lbs
Young: 3 lbs

1 month 

Life Span:
20 years

Male: 3.25 ft
Female: 2.6 ft

Body Length:
Male: 3.25 ft
Female: 2.6 ft

Tail Length:
1-1.19 ft, same for both sexes

Main predators are felids, bears, boa constrictors, & eagles. Chicks preyed on by monkeys, opossums, & hawks.
Endangered due to habitat loss/destruction, deforestation, hunting (especially for meat/decorative casque), pet trade, restricted range, ranching, drug cultivation, & agriculture.
Males highly territorial, w/ fights sometimes resulting in death.
Females lay 1-3 eggs per clutch (usually once but occasionally twice a year).
Chick (s) stay w/ parents for up to a year.
Sexually mature at 2 years old.
These birds spend most of their time on ground but utilize trees for roosting/nesting/escaping threats.
During courtship, male gathers piece of food in bill offering it to female. If she accepts, that means she’s willing to mate.
When chicks hatch, they eat from parents’ bills until they learn to eat from ground.
There are probably less than 2,500 of these birds left in wild.
They make prolonged low-pitch grunting/groaning sounds-males call much more than females.
Chicks are precocial, being able to move soon after hatching.
Named for helmet-like casque on head.
Due to diet, play important role in seed dispersal.
These birds are sedentary.

Fun Fact(s):
Swallow stones to aid digestion of tough seeds.
When frightened/alarmed, they’ll jump or fly straight up trying to get away. They’ll also run as well.
These birds are very skittish & secretive in the wild.
Very curious birds but also can be very shy. Some individuals rather friendly towards people, hand-raised imprinted males can be aggressive.

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