Blue-billed curassow

They are hunted for their feathers and meat, further exacerbating their population decline


Blue-billed curassow


They are hunted for their feathers and meat, further exacerbating their population decline

Population 150 – 700
25% population reduction across three generations

A critically endangered bird native to the lowland humid forests of northern Colombia. Its striking appearance is characterized by glossy black plumage, a distinctive crest of curled feathers atop its head, and its notable blue bill, which stands out against the dark feathers. The males also sport a conspicuous fleshy, blue-colored wattle, which adds to their allure, especially during the breeding season.

This large bird species has a body built for a life spent mostly on the forest floor, where it forages for food. Blue-billed curassows have strong legs that are well-adapted for scratching and digging in the leaf litter to find a variety of foods, including fruits, seeds, and small invertebrates such as insects and worms. Their diet plays a crucial role in seed dispersal, which is vital for the regeneration of their forest habitat.

The mating rituals of the Blue-billed curassow are complex and intriguing. Males perform a series of displays, including a unique, low-pitched booming call, which can resonate through the dense forest undergrowth. This call is produced by inflating a throat sac, and it proclaims the male’s presence and fitness to potential mates. Along with vocal displays, males also showcase their impressive plumage through a variety of postures and movements to further entice females.

These birds are monogamous, forming strong pair bonds that are essential for raising their young in the challenging environment of the tropical forest. They typically lay two to three eggs in a nest built on the ground or low in trees, and both parents participate in incubation and chick-rearing, which increases the chances of survival for their offspring.

Unfortunately, the Blue-billed curassow is facing numerous threats that have led to its classification as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Habitat destruction due to deforestation, primarily for agricultural expansion and illegal logging, is the most significant threat to their survival.


Population est.
Official estimate

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No