Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Least Concern

Colombian Chachalaca (Ortalis columbiana)


French: Ortalide de Colombie German: Kolumbienguan Spanish: Chachalaca colombiana

Ortalis columbiana


, 1906,



In past, treated as race of O. guttata, and has been considered conspecific with O. motmot and O. superciliaris. Differs from other taxa usually assembled under O. guttata in its much larger size (effect size for tail length 4.93) (2); narrow scaly pattern on blacker-toned breast (broader and vaguer in scaly- and browner-breasted Brazilian forms) (2); slate-grey vs blackish or brownish crown and nape (2); olive vs rich brown tone to upperparts (2). Vocal differences also significant#R. Birds of N Colombia occasionally split as race caucae. Monotypic.


N & C Colombia: Cauca Valley (N Antioquia to Cauca); Magdalena Valley (Cundinamarca to Huila).

Descriptive notes

c. 55 cm; 500–600 g. Similar to O. guttata, but present species differs from guttata in being much larger, with dark legs, a slightly larger crest, slate-... read more


Voice similar to that of other Ortalis, and perhaps also individually variable. Song a... read more


Patches of humid forest, forest edge and scrubby woodland; frequently observed at edges, and in... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mostly fruits and leaves. In study in a suburban forest in Cauca Valley, 26 species of plant identified in diet, including fruits (77... read more


Poorly known. Half-grown juvenile in early Feb, female with brood patch in late Feb; fledglings recorded early Nov in Valle del Cauca. Nest... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rare or scarce to locally numerous. Currently localized; found mainly in privately protected areas and suspected to be subject to... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Colombian Chachalaca (Ortalis columbiana). 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 20 February 2020).