Plain Chachalaca

Ortalis vetula

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

Chachalaca (Cracidae)

Code 4

PLCH

Code 6

ORTVET

ITIS

Egg Color:

Dull or creamy white



Number of Eggs:

2 - 4



Incubation Days:

22 - 25



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

In trees in old nests of other birds.



Nest Material:

Twigs, spanish moss, green leaves, vines



Migration:

Nonmigratory



SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENTS

General

Plain Chachalaca: Loud and gregarious, pheasant-like bird. Drab in color with gray head, olive-brown back, buff belly, dark tail with green gloss. Male shows bright red gular stripe during courtship displays.

Range and Habitat

Plain Chachalaca: This species is found primarily in Mexico along the Gulf Coast and in the Neotropics. Its range extends into the U.S. in extreme southern Texas along the lower Rio Grande valley. Inhabits forested areas, particularly early successional and forest edges, thorn scrub, and brushy thickets.

Breeding and Nesting

Plain Chachalaca: Monogamous and territorial. Both sexes build nest of twigs, spanish moss, green leaves, and vines on old nests of smaller species. Female incubates two to four creamy or dull white eggs for 22 to 25 days while male stays close and defends territory.

Foraging and Feeding

Plain Chachalaca: Moves through shrubs and trees often creeping squirrel-like. Consumes a variety of leaves, buds, seeds, flowers, and fruits, occasionally insects. Readily comes to feeding stations. Shows preference for cracked corn and milo.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Milo

Vocalization

Plain Chachalaca: Very loud. Named for its loud call "cha cha lak", or "KLOK aTOK aTOK." Makes a variety of other gutteral vocalizations including soft "krrr" call.

Similar Species

Plain Chachalaca: Greater Roadrunner has a large bill, pale underparts, and streaked upperparts.

.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
GularX
The area between the chin and the foreneck.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X