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Great Currassow

Crax rubra


As I was sitting quietly sketching a flock of eight great curassows crept stealthily past. I thought at first it was two different species, because the male and female birds were so different. The male is black with a yellow knob on its bill, but the female is cinnamon red with heavily barred tail, totally different looking except that both have amazing curly feathers cresting over the tops of their heads. The female Great Curassow has three morphs: a barred form, a dark form, and this one, the rufous morph. Big birds, they looked about 35-40" tall. It must be near mating season, because the male's yellow knob is swollen quite large.


I spotted these in open montane forest, and they were foraging, scratching through forest floor debris as they passed.


I consider these huge birds one of my more satisfying spottings, as it was the result of a long, quiet sit, wonderfully rewarded.

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1 Comment

Grace M.
Grace M. 4 years ago

I like the crest.

Irene Brady
Spotted by
Irene Brady

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Spotted on Dec 12, 2010
Submitted on Mar 12, 2016

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