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Galliformes > Cracidae

West Mexican Chachalaca

Ortalis poliocephala

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Identification

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Noisy, long-tailed game bird of tropical forest and edge, usually found in small groups. Most often detected by its raucous song, which carries well. It feeds on fruit and plant material on the ground and also high in trees, where it runs along branches. For a big bird, it can be surprisingly hard to see. It is wary in areas where it is hunted and it slips away from view quite easily. In southwest Chiapas, the smaller White-bellied Chachalaca lives in coastal lowlands, while the West Mexican Chachalaca lives in foothills.

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Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America