Friday, April 29, 2022

Crested Guan

Another bird that strikes my fancy, and I'm not quite sure why, is the crested guan. I'd never heard of a guan before and find out that there are many species of guan. I saw crested guans twice on our recent trip to Ecuador, once just outside the Milpe Bird Sanctuary (two of them) and once just outside of Mindo. 
This was my first view of a crested guan: two together high up on a tree. 

This reveals the chestnut rump, but also what appears to be chestnut going all the way up the back. 

There are three subspecies which I don't see delineated. They range from the coastal areas of upper South America (obviously quite a bit inland because Mindo is not near the coast), through Central America and up into Mexico, with a pretty heavy concentration in the Yucatan Peninsula away from the coast. 
This is the second crested guan sighting, just outside of Mindo. It was up in a tree eating some kind of fruit. I spotted it from the car, asked our guide to stop, and I got out of the car to get closer to it. 

It is described as having the general appearance of a turkey, with a small head, long strong red legs, and a long broad tail and is a game bird which also makes its comparison to a turkey apt. It is mostly dark brown with white spotting on the neck and breast, a rufous rump and belly, a bare red dewlap or wattle, blue-gray bare skin around the eye and a bushy crest which gives it its name. 
This close-up features the blue-gray bare skin around the eye, the red dewlap and the crest. 


  1. If this bird were at a high school dance, it would be the geeky wallflower.

  2. It kind of looks like a turkey to me.