Thursday, April 13, 2023

Colombian Chachalaca

The Colombian chachalaca is endemic to a relatively small area of Colombia: the upper Magdalena River basin and the Cauca River valley, and within those areas, limited to small, isolated populations. 

Range of the Colombian chachalaca from Wikipedia. The gray is the outline of Colombia. 
When we first arrived at Tinamu Reserve I saw several chachalacas walking up a branch in a huge tree just outside the kitchen and eating area. It was extremely poor light for a photo and I didn't have my camera. I kept waiting for another opportunity to photograph them and it did not come. The morning we were leaving I mentioned to my guide, Fernando, that I really wanted to see a chachalaca. The day before I'd talked with him about his experience hunting and eating them. About ten minutes before we were going to leave, someone came running up to me to tell me that some chachalacas were on one of the feeding stations. I was very excited to have that gift right before we left. 

The chachalaca reminds me of a turkey, including a small red dewlap. The upperparts are mostly brown. The outer feathers of the tail are rufous-brown and the head and neck are gray. The breast is gray with very distinguishing white scalloping. It has rufous undertail coverts and pink legs and feet.


1 comment:

  1. One of the best names in the bird kingdom for a rather ridiculous-looking bird.