The White-winged Guan (Penelope albipennis) is a large bird species belonging to the Cracidae family and can be predominantly found in northwest Peru. The bird's natural habitat consists of dry forests and shrublands, which is why it's often referred to as a "dry forest specialist." Unfortunately, the White-winged Guan has had a dwindling population making it an endangered species due to deforestation and habitat fragmentation.
The White-winged Guan is a large bird, measuring about 68 cm in length and weighs around 2.5 kg. The male is notably larger than the female. The bird's distinguishing features include a white forehead, a white line circling its black head, and a white patch on its wings, giving it its name. The rest of its body feathers are generally brown.
White-winged Guans are solitary birds, often seen foraging on the ground for seeds, fruits, and insects. The bird eats a varied diet but mainly feeds on fruits such as piquia and murucuja, along with insects like ants, termites, and grasshoppers. These birds do not fly very much but rather move on foot. They are also known for basking in the sun, probably to help regulate their body temperature.
The breeding season for White-winged Guans is between October and December. Males perform elaborate displays to attract females. Once a pair is formed, they mate for life and build their nests in trees. The female lays two to three eggs, which are incubated for about 28 days.
The White-winged Guan is critically endangered, with less than 300 individuals remaining in the wild. Like other birds in South America, hunting and habitat loss pose significant threats to their survival. Efforts to protect and rehabilitate populations through captive breeding programs and habitat restoration are currently underway. Many conservation groups and government agencies have been trying to promote regeneration of forests in the region, which could significantly help the White-winged Guan and other rare species survive.