Spix's Guan (Penelope jacquacu)

Spix's Guan, also known as the Northern Helmeted Curassow, is a bird species that primarily resides in the South American continent's forests. It is the only member of its genus and is named after Johann Baptist von Spix, a German biologist. The Spix's Guan bird has a striking appearance with a black body, white-tipped tail, and a colorful, bumpy red wattle that hangs from its neck. It stands about 30-40 cm tall and weighs around 1 kilogram.

The Spix's Guan is a variety of the curassow bird family, which is known for its striking appearance. The bird has a fascinating breeding behavior that has been the subject of several research studies. During the breeding season, the male Spix's Guan seeks the attention of the females by bowing his head and gouging the ground while releasing specific calls. They are usually monogamous animals, meaning they mate with only one partner for their whole life.

This bird species primarily feeds on fruits, insects, and small invertebrates. Its diet includes a range of fruits from small wild berries to large fruits like figs and guavas. Although primarily forage on the ground, they can also fly for short distances to obtain their food.

The Spix's Guan bird species are a critically endangered species on the verge of extinction. Threats like habitat destruction, hunting by humans, and natural predation from animals like jaguars and large birds of prey have seriously endangered their population. Additionally, their slow rate of reproduction, small population size, and restricted distribution make them even more vulnerable to extinction.

Several conservation initiatives are currently underway to try to protect the remaining populations of Spix's Guan. Some of these initiatives include community education programs to halt forest destruction and support sustainable development practices. Although challenging, efforts to save this rare bird species are essential to ensure its survival and preservation for future generations to come.

Other names

Penelope jacquacu



Spix's Guan

guan de Spix



spixov guan

guan proměnlivý

Spix´ Penelopehøne

Spix' Sjakohoen


Pénélope de Spix


Guan di Spix


Spikso penelopė


penelopa zielonawa


Спиксова пенелопа

Spiksov guan

šuan jakuaku

Pava amazónica


Amazon Guanı

пенелопа амазонійська