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Crested Guan - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies aequatorialis
Photo © by max1
Corcovado, SW Costa Rica, March 2019
Penelope purpurascens


Subspecies purpurascens
Photo © by rdavis
Tikal National Park, Guatemala, June 2010

72–91 cm (28¼-35¾ in); This species often gives a very dark impression
In pefect light, the white speckling becomes more noticeable

  • Dark brown
  • Bushy crest is only raised part of the time
  • Bare blue grey skin around eye
  • Red wattle
  • White spotted neck and breast
  • Rufous rump and belly
  • Long red legs
  • Broad, long tail
  • Sexes similar
  • Juvenile - black vermiculations and ochre specks on body

Similar species

In most areas the largest Guan present, but may be mistaken for Highland Guan or Baudo Guan.


South America: found from Mexico (southern 2/3) through Central America and South America to western Ecuador and northern Venezuela.



Three subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • P. p. purpurascens:
  • P. p. aequatorialis:
  • Southern Honduras and Nicaragua to north-western Colombia and south-eastern Ecuador
  • P. p. brunnescens:


Lowlands up to 1000 m, rarely to 1800 or even 2500 m; everywhere found in forested areas including edges.


Usually foraging in canopy or subcanopy, occurring singly, in pairs, or in small groups.


They mostly eat fruits such as berries and figs, either on the tree or those that have fallen to the ground.


They build a large nest from twigs which is lined with leaves. The 2-3 large, rough, white eggs are incubated by the female.


Call: plee or quonk.
Song: keLEEEErrrr


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  1. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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