Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Least Concern

East Brazilian Chachalaca (Ortalis araucuan)


French: Ortalide araucuan German: Ostbrasilienguan Spanish: Chachalaca oriental
Other common names: Brazilian Chachalaca

Penelope araucuan


, 1825,

Rio Itapicuru, Maranhão, Brazil


In past, treated as a race of O. guttata, and has been considered conspecific with O. motmot and O. superciliaris. Differs from O. guttata in much less chestnut-rufous undertail, with more grey-black at base of feathers (3); more rufous-toned rump (2); and brown-shaded vs blackish crown (2); also some vocal differences#R. Separated from O. columbiana by its much smaller size (2), broader and vaguer scaly pattern on browner breast (2), dull rufous (not slate-grey) crown and nape (2), and brown (not olive) tone to upperparts (2); from O. squamata by its dull rufous (not dull brown) crown and rear head-sides (2), arrowhead-shaped, pale-tipped feathers on rear crown, neck-sides and upper throat (3), white to whitish vs buffy-brown belly (3), and ochraceous vs chestnut vent (ns[2]). Monotypic.


E Brazil (E Rio Grande do Norte#R, Pernambuco and perhaps Paraíba S to E Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo).

Descriptive notes

c. 50 cm. Has dull rufous crown to nape, and brown upperparts with rufous-tinged rump; red gular patch, lower throat and breast dark brownish with conspicuous whitish spots (... read more


Song a repeated “re-a-tok”. Recordings of N populations examined were all of this three-syllable... read more


Found in range of forested areas, including second growth, caatinga and coastal ... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Consumes fruits and other items; diet probably similar to that of other chachalacas. Usually forages in small flocks of... read more


Rather few data. Active nest found in early Feb, and three young aged c. 1 month or younger caught in May. Fledglings also recorded in Jan... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Global population not quantified, but probably reasonably large; no suggestion of any rapid decline. Fairly common in many parts of... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). East Brazilian Chachalaca (Ortalis araucuan). 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 1 April 2020).