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Helmeted Curassow

McCormick Bird House

Did You Know?

  • Helmeted curassows are named for the large blue-gray casque on their forehead, a bony extension at the top of the bill that is covered with skin.
  • Like domestic chickens, these birds often eat small stones to help with the digestion of seeds and nuts.
  • These birds make courtship displays, such as booming calls, head-bobbing, and picking up stones.

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Overview

Scientific Name: Pauxi pauxi

Class: Birds

Diet: Fruit, seeds, leaves, grasses, and buds

Range: Western Venezuela and northern Colombia

Endangered Status: Vulnerable

More Information

Both male and female helmeted curassows have dark plumage with a blue-green gloss across their back and breast, along with a white belly and a red bill. They tend to forage in pairs or families, mostly on the ground. Their populations are restricted to mountainous cloud forests—specifically in humid gorges with dense undergrowth—up to 7,200 feet in elevation. They avoid forest edges.

Nesting takes place in March. These curassows build nests in tree branches up to 20 feet from the ground. Females lay two eggs, which are incubated for about a month. Both parents care for the young, which reach maturity between the ages of 2 and 3.

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