Oreophasis derbianus G.R. Gray, 1844, Guatemala. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Lord Derby’s mountain pheasant; French: Orйophase cornu; German: Zapfenguan; Spanish: Pavуn Cornudo.
29.5–33.5 in (75–85 cm). This species is quite unique, and believed by some authorities to be a link between guans and curassows because it shares some characteristics of both. Most prominent is the large red horn and the white scalloping on the breast. Sexes are identical.
The horned guan is found in Guatemala and Chiapas (the most southern province of Mexico).
Found in montane forest above 4,900 ft (1,500 m) in northern Central America.
When disturbed, horned guans give off a throaty (guttural) shriek, which, in its suddenness and intensity, has the effect of a loud explosion. Then they threaten the intruder from a high perch by clattering their yellow beaks like castanets.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Generally fruits and green leaves from a vast assortment of plant species. Forages primarily in tree branches.
This species is likely one of the few cracids (and perhaps the only guan) where polygyny is observed, where one male might mate with several females, one after another, during the breeding season (serial polygyny). Nests are often built in very high trees, up to 66 ft (20 m) off the ground. The nest itself is typically made of twigs and epiphyte roots. The clutch size is typically two eggs, with one of the longest incubations documented for any cracid, up to 36 days.
Considered Endangered. The remaining populations are small, fragmented, and only partly protected. habitat destruction and hunting continue to threaten this species.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
May be hunted for food. These birds have been successfully raised in captivity, which may be important to the future survival of this species.
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