Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Least Concern

Red-faced Guan (Penelope dabbenei)


French: Pénélope de Dabbene German: Rotgesichtguan Spanish: Pava carirroja
Other common names: Dabbene's Guan

Penelope dabbenei

Hellmayr and Conover

, 1942,

Cerro de Calilegua, Ledesma, Jujuy, Argentina


Formerly known as P. nigrifrons, but that name invalid, as preoccupied by a synonym of Pipile jacutinga. Present species sometimes regarded as an isolated relative of P. obscura; available evidence, however, suggests a closer relationship with P. montagnii#R. Monotypic.


E slope of Andes in S Bolivia (S Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija) and NW Argentina (Jujuy and Salta).

Descriptive notes

63–69 cm; one female 1230 g. A large guan with mainly rich brown plumage, flecked white or silvery white over head, breast and upper back, with red dewlap typical of... read more


Wing-whirring display given at dawn is similar to those of P. montagnii, P. obscura... read more


Large tracts of cloudforest on steep slopes of E Andes, with presence of large trees, e.g. cedars... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fruits (including those of Ilex argentina, Viburnum seemenii, Citronella apogon and Myrsine coriacea... read more


Displaying and calling pairs recorded in Sept–Oct in Bolivia, and Oct–Dec in NW Argentina. Nest a platform made of twigs and... read more


Few data available, but presumably largely sedentary, although some downslope movements reported... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly considered Near Threatened, but much-improved knowledge of species’ status and distribution gained in recent decades... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Kirwan, G.M. & de Juana, E. (2020). Red-faced Guan (Penelope dabbenei). 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).