Rufous-headed Chachalaca (Ortalis erythroptera)

The Rufous-headed Chachalaca bird is a species of bird found primarily in Central and South America. It is a medium-sized bird, typically measuring between 17 to 19 inches in length and weighing around 12 to 16 ounces. These birds are known for their distinctive and vibrant plumage, which is primarily brown and rufous in color, with a long, straight beak and a pronounced tail.

Rufous-headed Chachalacas are highly social birds that live in small flocks, and they are typically found in dense forested areas. They are often heard before they are seen, as they are quite vocal birds that make a range of different sounds, including a distinctive ``chachalaca'' call that is reminiscent of the bird's common name. These calls are often used as a way to communicate with other members of the flock, and they can be heard from quite a distance away.

In terms of diet, Rufous-headed Chachalacas are primarily herbivores, feeding on a range of different fruits, seeds, and nuts. They are also known to occasionally feed on insects, although this is less common. These birds are particularly important in their ecosystems, as they are responsible for helping to distribute seeds through their droppings, which can help to promote the growth of new plants and trees.

Despite their important role in their ecosystems, Rufous-headed Chachalacas face a number of threats in the wild, primarily due to habitat loss and degradation. Many forests in Central and South America are being cleared and converted for agriculture or logging, which can destroy the birds' habitat and food sources. Additionally, these birds are sometimes hunted for food or as a nuisance crop pest, further exacerbating their plight.

Overall, the Rufous-headed Chachalaca is a beautiful and fascinating bird that plays a crucial role in its ecosystem. However, as with so many other species of wildlife, it is facing significant threats due to human activity and habitat loss. Conservation efforts are needed to help protect these birds and their habitats, so that they can continue to thrive for generations to come.

Other names

Ortalis erythroptera



Rufous-headed Chachalaca

txatxalaca cap-roig



riđoglava čačalaka

čačalaka rezavohlavá

Rusthovedet Chachalaca



Ortalide à tête rousse


Ciacialaca testarossiccia


rausvagalvė čačalaka


czakalaka rudogłowa


Красноголовая чачалака

Riđoglava čačalaka

čačalaka ekvádorská

Chachalaca cabecirrufa

rosthuvad chachalaca

Kızıl Başlı Çaçalaka

чачалака рудоголова

ekuadori tšatšalaka