Family Seriemas (Cariamidae)

Least Concern

Black-legged Seriema (Chunga burmeisteri)


French: Cariama de Burmeister German: Schwarzfußseriema Spanish: Chuña patinegra

Dicholophus burmeisteri


, 1860,

Tucumán and Catamarca, Argentina




S & SE Bolivia through W Paraguay to C Argentina.

Descriptive notes

70–85 cm; 1·2 kg. Predominantly grey above, with paler underparts, especially towards rear. Similar to partially sympatric Cariama cristata, but... read more


Often sings in early morning, a descending, slightly tinny-sounding “cou, cou, cou-cou-cou... read more


Dry woodland, savanna and open forests, typically in Chaco and monte woodlands. Apparently... read more

Food and feeding

In Paraguayan Chaco recorded consuming a grass (probably Cenchrus ciliaris), leguminous shoots from algarrobo trees (Prosopis... read more


In Paraguayan Chaco, breeds in local summer, season starting Nov–Dec; in Argentina, young caught in Dec. Constructs loose stick nest... read more


Sedentary. Some local movements inferred in Chaco zone (see Family Text).

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Little information available, but species has been considered common in Argentina. However, even here local extinctions have been... read more

Recommended citation

Gonzaga, Luiz P., Kirwan, G.M. & de Juana, E. (2018). Black-legged Seriema (Chunga burmeisteri). 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 19 November 2018).