Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Critically Endangered

Sira Curassow (Pauxi koepckeae)


French: Hocco de Koepcke German: Koepckehokko Spanish: Paují unicornio peruano
Other common names: Peruvian Helmeted Curassow

Pauxi unicornis koepckeae

Weske and Terborgh

, 1971,

Cerros del Sira, Huánuco, Peru


Has been considered a race of P. pauxi and, until very recently, at least of P. unicornis, but differs from latter in its backward-sloping, ellipsoid vs upright, columnar casque (3); narrow vs broad white tips of outer rectrices, with all-black vs white-tipped central rectrices (2); song consisting of four notes in single phrase over 3–4 seconds vs eight notes forming four phrases with emphasis on last note#R (3); horizontal fanning vs up-and-down pumping of tail in alarm (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Slopes of Cerros del Sira, in E Peru (Huánuco).

In 1992, a bird of undetermined affinity was seen in Cerros de Távara, in S Peru, halfway between known ranges of P. koepckeae and P. unicornis, and it has hence been suggested that one or both species may be present on low Andean foothills and outlying ridges from Cerros del Sira S into Bolivian Yungas; however, the Távara record has since been discounted#R.

Descriptive notes

85–95 cm. Large, black cracid with long frontal casque. Plumage is all-black with variable bluish sheen, except white vent and narrow white tip to tail; bill bright red; pale... read more


Peak singing period, and therefore probably breeding, at end of wet season (several months later... read more


Cloudforest at 1100–1500 m, sometimes higher, with highest records at c. 1690 m, where forest is... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists of fruit, seeds and soft plants, also arthropods and their larvae. Forages on ground, apparently usually singly and... read more


Display songs seem to reach a peak in Feb–Mar, at end of wet season; juvenile observed in Jun. Has been suggested that breeding males may... read more


Resident; some seasonal short-distance altitudinal movement probable.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Very small range, restricted to Cerros del Sira, in Huánuco, in C Peru. Current global population estimated at fewer than 250 mature individuals,... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sira Curassow (Pauxi koepckeae). 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 23 February 2020).