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Variable Chachalaca - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 01:00, 9 November 2021 by Njlarsen (talk | contribs) (id etc)
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Alternative name: Little Chachalaca

Photo by Valéry Schollaert
Manaus, Brazil
Ortalis motmot


43-58 cm (probably mostly in upper end of this range).
It has a chestnut head, a red dewlap and brown wings. Outer tail is reddish brown.

Similar species

Variable Chachalaca and Chestnut-headed Chachalaca are nearly identical in plumage pattern but differ strongly in size and somewhat in voice[5].


Amazonian Brazil (mostly north of the Amazon), French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and southern Venezuela.

Photo by erikat
Near AdeK University campus, Uitvlucht (Paramaribo), Suriname (click on image for larger version)


This is a monotypic species[1].

Recently split from Chestnut-headed Chachalaca


Clearings and forest patches with dense undergrowth



It feeds on fruit and berries both on the ground and in the trees.


Most likely to be vocal just before dawn (5:30-6 am). Skulking behavior makes this species difficult to see.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2021. IOC World Bird List (v 11.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.11.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  4. del Hoyo, J. and G. M. Kirwan (2021). Variable Chachalaca (Ortalis motmot), version 1.1. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.varcha1.01.1
  5. Paper describing differences between Chestnut-headed Chachalaca and Variable Chachalaca

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.