Variable Chachalaca Ortalis motmot

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Identification

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Slender, long-tailed, chickenlike bird that is often seen in small groups. Grayish-brown overall with a warmer chestnut head. At close range note the bare red throat patch and pinkish legs. Found in second-growth woodlands, river edges, and disturbed habitats including farms and villages. Occurs in lowlands of northern South America, north of the Amazon river. Somewhat similar to Spix’s and Marail Guans, but Variable Chachalaca is much smaller and is unlikely to be in canopy of tall forest. Usually quiet, but groups call loudly to each other early in the morning; unmistakable call can be heard for more than a kilometer.

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