Mystery Bird: Penelope Guan, Penelope species

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[Mystery bird] Unidentified Penelope Guan, Penelope species, photographed in South America [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]
Image: Indonesian Parrot Project [larger view].

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.


Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
The cracids — chachalacas, guans, and curassows — are a large family of spectacular gallinaceous birds found in tropical America; large and meaty, they are often under intense hunting pressure, and as denizens of extensive forest, this family accounts for far too many badly endangered species.
The various Penelope guans — medium-large, with blackish plumage coarsely streaked white, red gular sacs, bluish facial skin, and a more or less conspicuous crest — are widespread in Central and South America; the most familiar is Crested Guan, probably the most common of the surviving larger cracids. Identification of Penelope guans is difficult, and the most important clue is often range. Knowing only that this bird was photographed in “South America,” I would not presume to identify it beyond the genus level, but I am sure there are those out there who know this group well enough to distinguish the species without recourse to range.
Review all mystery birds to date.

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About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Mystery Bird: Penelope Guan, Penelope species

  1. I’m going to guess that that’s a Crested Guan (though it doesn’t seem to have much of a crest). That’s based on a few minutes’ googling for images.

  2. Rick Wright says:

    I’m getting the strong feeling that your comments are somehow being “spammed”–a feeling only reinforced by that last contributor’s name.
    A note: in one of the field guides (no time to rummage around and figure out which), the first comment offered on Crested Guan is that it is “no more crested than other guans.” How’s that for helpful?

  3. Bob O'H says:

    Rick – that seems to have been going on for some time. It be a few hours before Grrl gets to see this – she doesn’t have a good connection at the moment.
    I do wonder though – do crested guan produce crested guano?

  4. unfortunately, i was being spammed. i think i’ve fixed this.

  5. Lars says:

    Is it a chachalaca? I’ve only ever seen them from below, but the wattle was pretty disinctive

  6. Danimal says:

    Somehow my turkey guess disappeared? Well it was wrong anyways.