Black Curassow (Crax alector)

Black Curassow

[order] GALLIFORMES | [family] Cracidae | [latin] Crax alector | [UK] Black Curassow | [FR] Hocco alector | [DE] Glattschnabel-Hokko | [ES] Pavon Guayanes | [NL] Zwarte Hokko


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Crax alector SA n Amazonia


Physical charateristics

Both genders have black plumage, white abdomens, and identically sized and colored ceres. Femaless develop red-brown irides after six months of age, those of the cocks are dark brown, some females have white markings in the crest feathers, though some have completely black crests like cocks. Some feamles have a tan or ochraceous blush to the white crissum, and are slightly smaller than males.

Listen to the sound of Black Curassow

[audio: Curassow.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 85 cm size max.: 95 cm
incubation min.: 30 days incubation max.: 32 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 32 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : North Amazonia


Primary forest along rivers or roads. Also along forest edges and forest with clearings and open space.


Builds a stick nest lined with leaves and bark about 5 meter above ground. Two eggs are laid, which are incubated for 30-32 days (in captivity).

Feeding habits

Feeds mostly of fruit and seeds, will also eat invertebrates, flowers and mushrooms. forages mostly on the ground single or in pairs and sometimes mingles with other species.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Ranges from Venezuela, South of Orinoco, Guianas, SE Colombia and Northern Brazil. Rather common in Suriname but with excess human activity will disappear.
Black Curassow status Least Concern


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Black Curassow distribution range map

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