Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)


Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus)


French: Oréophase cornu German: Zapfenguan Spanish: Pavón cornudo

Oreophasis Derbianus

G. R. Gray

, 1844,



This very distinct species has been considered intermediate between the guans and the curassows. Genetic, osteological and other data are, to some extent, conflicting with regard to the placing of Oreophasis within subfamily Cracinae or Penelopinae#R, and a better solution seems to be to separate it in a subfamily of its own. Monotypic.


SE Mexico (E Oaxaca and Chiapas) and Guatemala; reports from N Honduras remain unconfirmed#R.

Descriptive notes

75–85 cm. Unmistakable due to 6 cm tall red horn on forehead. Glossy black above with bluish sheen. Whitish flecked black on neck, breast and upper belly, with brown... read more


Sexes differ quite clearly in their vocalizations; males make at least five different calls, while... read more


Humid evergreen mountain forest in subtropical zone, chiefly from 2300 m to 3100 m, occasionally as... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fruits (83·3%) and green leaves (14·3%), with some insects (2·4%) and flowers; studies over 25 years at El... read more


In El Triunfo mainly in low rainfall months of Feb–Mar, so that when rains return, by May, young are already half-grown; on Volc... read more


No information available, but presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Populations only partially protected. CITES I. Overall population postulated to currently number as few as 600–1700 individuals. Clearly reduced in numbers... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus). 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).