Penelope purpurascens Wagler, 1830, Mexico. Three subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Purple guan; French: Pйnйlope panachйe; German: Rostbauchguan; Spanish: Pava Cojolita.
This is the largest species of guan, with some specimens reaching over 3 ft (90 cm), and nearly 5.5 lb (2.5 kg).
Ranges from Mexico to Venezuela, northern Colombia, and southwestern Ecuador.
Generally in humid forest and hilly lowlands. Occasionally found in gallery forest.
Pairs of crested guans have territories in which they may remain with their young until the next breeding season. Crested guans are particularly noisy when disturbed. They perch high in trees and continually protest with a very loud prolonged shrieking which sounds peculiarly high for such relatively large birds. The crested guan may climb to the top of a high tree at the edge of a clearing and fly with slow measured beats over the open space. When it has gained enough speed, it will beat its wings much more rapidly, producing a loud drumming noise. Then it may glide for a stretch, drum again, and continue its flight across the clearing into the trees on the opposite side. This peculiar drumming is heard only rarely, just at dawn or dusk and on moonlit nights. The display is likely related to breeding.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Fruits, figs, and berries; also seeds, leaves, shoots, and occasionally ground insects. Usually forages in the high branches of trees.
Monogamous, possibly maintaining a permanent pair bond. The birds mature after two to three years. Nests are most often built in trees, and are made of sticks and twigs and lined with leaves. The clutch size is typically two eggs.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
This species is often consumed for food.
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