Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Least Concern

Chaco Chachalaca (Ortalis canicollis)


French: Ortalide du Chaco German: Chacoguan Spanish: Chachalaca charata

Penelope canicollis


, 1830,



Hybridizes in captivity with Pipile cumanensis. Race pantanalensis may belong with O. vetula, or be a separate species#R. Birds of Paraguayan Chaco separated as race ungeri, but validity doubtful. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. c. canicollis (Wagler, 1830) – Chaco in E Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca, Tarija, and perhaps Beni), W Paraguay (mainly Alto Chaco, Bajo Chaco and Matogrosense) and N Argentina (Jujuy E & S to Santa Fe).
  • O. c. pantanalensis Cherrie & Reichenberger, 1921 – SC Brazil (SW Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul), with possible sightings in neighbouring Bolivia and Paraguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    50–56 cm; 479–678 g. Head and neck contrast little with colour of back and breast; virtually crestless. Juvenile resembles adult. Race pantanalensis... read more


    Typical of genus: early-morning chorus consists of harsh, raucous “chata-ra-ta” (which... read more


    Swampy lowland forest and surrounding monte scrub; frequents borders of trails and edges... read more

    Food and feeding

    Leaves, fruits, seeds and flowers; also caterpillars, which can be important in periods of abundance. In one study in N Argentina, herb... read more


    Season Oct–Feb in N Argentina, during wet season; probably earlier, from Aug, in Bolivia; adult feeding well-grown young in Jan in... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In Brazil, common in all regions of Pantanal, and in less frequented portions of Chaco; probably also in Paraguay, though... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Chaco Chachalaca (Ortalis canicollis). 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 4 April 2020).