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Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula


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Plain Chachalaca, adults on branch in captivity
credit: OpenCage/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Cracidae, Chachalacas view all from this family

Description ADULT Has gray-brown head and neck, grading to warm brown on back and wings, and warm buff on underparts. Tail is relatively long, mostly dark, but with striking white feather tips. Bare throat skin becomes reddish in breeding male. JUVENILE Similar to adult but duller, with pale feather margins.

Dimensions Length: 18-21" (46-53 cm); Wngspn: 26" (66 cm)

Habitat Local wood_land resident in southern Texas; range extends into Central America.

Observation Tips Listen for the distinctive call.

Range Southeast, Texas

Voice A loud and harsh cha-chalac.

Discussion Long-tailed, rather secretive southern Texas specialty. Best located by listening for call. Typically found in social groups. Sexes are similar.