Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Near Threatened

Bearded Guan (Penelope barbata)


French: Pénélope barbue German: Bartguan Spanish: Pava barbuda

Penelope barbata


, 1921,

Taraguacocha, Cordillera de Chilla, Ecuador


Closely related to P. argyrotis, with which has been considered conspecific. Has been suggested as being a race of P. montagnii. Peruvian population has been treated as a geographical race, inexpectata, but validity doubtful, as distinguishing characters of plumage, especially vermiculated belly, reported also in some specimens from Ecuador, and may be an immature feature. Monotypic.


W slope in S Ecuador (E El Oro, Loja and W Zamora-Chinchipe, perhaps Azuay#R) and adjacent NW Peru (E Piura, Cajamarca and E Lambayeque).

Descriptive notes

c. 55 cm. Ill-defined rufous terminal band in tail; present species and P. argyrotis are only members of Penelope with tail feathers not uniformly coloured... read more


Display, mainly given at dawn, is a wing-whirr typical of all Penelope. Several... read more


Montane cloudforests, both humid and dry, in temperate and upper subtropical zone of W slope of... read more

Food and feeding

Few data available until recently, but now known to feed mainly on fruits and to lesser extent leaves and flowers. Recent study in S... read more


In Podocarpus National Park (S Ecuador) eggs mainly laid in Feb–Jul. Several records, old and recent, of chicks between Dec and Mar,... read more


Presumably sedentary. Population in Podocarpus National Park evidently present year-round.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened (having recently been downlisted from Vulnerable). Populations (estimated at 6000–15,000 individuals) only... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Bearded Guan (Penelope barbata). 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 21 February 2020).