Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Least Concern

Andean Guan (Penelope montagnii)


French: Pénélope des Andes German: Andenguan Spanish: Pava andina

Ortalida montagnii


, 1856,

Colombia = El Piñón, above Fusagasugá


Has been considered to include P. ortoni as a race, but ranges contiguous, with overlap in W Ecuador and possibly also in SW Colombia, without any trace of intergradation. Population of SE Peru earlier separated as race marcapatensis, but later regarded as synonym of plumosa. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. montagnii (Bonaparte, 1856) – NW Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá, and Andes from Trujillo S to Táchira) and N & C Colombia (C & E Andes S to Putumayo).
  • P. m. atrogularis Hellmayr & Conover, 1932 – W slope of Andes in S Colombia (Nariño) and Ecuador (S to Azuay).
  • P. m. brooki C. Chubb, 1917 – E slope of Andes in S Colombia and Ecuador (S to Morona-Santiago).
  • P. m. plumosa Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1902 – E slope of Andes in Peru (S from Amazonas, to Cuzco).
  • P. m. sclateri G. R. Gray, 1860 – Yungas of Bolivia (S to Santa Cruz); earlier reports of occurrence in extreme N Argentina erroneous (based on two specimens subsequently shown to belong to P. dabbenei).
  • Descriptive notes

    51–61 cm; 818–840 g (plumosa). Stocky build, appearing less slender than most other Penelope. Throat and tarsus partially feathered, as in P... read more


    Dawn wing-whirring display is preceded by a soft whistle; other calls have been likened to those of... read more


    Thick, epiphyte-rich humid forest in mountains, including dwarf forest. In temperate zone up to... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly fruits with seeds in 1–10 mm range (but also seeds of 11–30 mm), both ripe and unripe; also leaf parts, with relative... read more


    One chick in Mar and a juvenile in Jun in Colombia, with a recently fledged young in Peru in mid Nov; territory establishment and period of... read more


    Non-migratory, but performs seasonal movements in search of fruit, sometimes leaving forest to move... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to fairly common in Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela, and fairly common to common in Peru, where extensive inaccessible areas... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Andean Guan (Penelope montagnii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).