Family Screamers (Anhimidae)

Near Threatened

Northern Screamer (Chauna chavaria)


French: Kamichi chavaria German: Weißwangen-Wehrvogel Spanish: Chajá chicagüire

Parra Chavaria


, 1766,

lakes near Río Sinú, south of Cartagena, Colombia




N Colombia (from Atrato Valley E to base of Santa Marta Mts and S to middle Magdalena Valley) and NW Venezuela (around L Maracaibo).

Descriptive notes

76–91 cm. Sexes alike, with grey crown, prominent occipital crest of pointed feathers (up to 70 mm) and dark grey body, white underwing-coverts, grey bill, red orbital... read more


Very vocal, like other screamers. Most common vocalization is single, rather high-pitched yelping... read more


Swamps, marshes, lagoons, banks of slow-flowing rivers, often in areas surrounded by forest; also... read more

Food and feeding

Exclusively vegetarian, taking roots, leaves, stems and other green parts of succulent, aquatic plants. Grazes like other Anseriformes,... read more


Most eggs Oct/Nov, but breeds throughout year, e.g. May in NW Venezuela. Solitary and territorial; nest is large accumulation of plant... read more


Probably sedentary; no evidence of long-range movements. Juveniles and non-breeders perhaps may... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Very little information available. Restricted range and relatively small population; range may have been... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Boesman, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Northern Screamer (Chauna chavaria). 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 25 May 2019).