Family Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, & Curassow)

There are three groups of birds that make up the family Cracidae, with only a single chachalaca species being found within the United States.

The majority of the birds (with the exception of the plain chachalaca) are found in the tropical and subtropical areas of Central & South America, including the islands in the Caribbean.

Members are all large and have a general appearance similar to that of the wild turkey.

Chachalaca looking for seeds

In terms of nesting and living–the guans and curassows prefer the trees, while the smaller chachalacas can be found in scrubby habitats. These birds feed on fruits (being important seed dispersers), insects, and worms. The young are good climbers (where they can leave the nest, but hide among the leaves/branches of the tree) and can fly within days after hatching.

Many of the species found within this family are endangered due to both hunting and lost of habitat (deforestation).

The single US species is the plain chachalaca that can be found in southern most areas of Texas, and possibly an island or two off the coast of Georgia.

Photography goals(s) include being able to get a picture of at least one other chachalaca species, and then at least one picture of a guan and curassow. Bonus would be getting a picture of a young bird climbing the tree near a nest.