The Northern Screamer is confined to the marshy lowlands of northern Colombia and extreme northwestern Venezuela. It resembles the Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata) of southern South America, but has a much thicker black neck band. Like other screamers, it is a rather sedate bird generally observed singly, in pairs, or in small groups perched on bushes or trees within a marsh or forested swamp. It grazes for herbaceous growth, and builds a nest of aquatic vegetation in the middle of a marsh. The chicks leave the nest after only a few days of brooding.