This species occurs in the subtropical and upper tropical zones of northeastern Colombia and across northern Venezuela, and is sometimes subdivided into as many as three different subspecies. Its preference is for very wet forests at elevations of between 800 and 2400 m, although it sometimes occupies tall second growth and even shade coffee plantations, and the species’ overall altitudinal range reaches to 300 m and 3050 m. Typically arboreal, the species is apparently not a strong flier and only comes to the ground to forage on fallen fruits. Breeding generally occurs in the first half of the year, and its nests are usually placed in the midstory of trees. In the non-breeding season the species typically forms small groups of three to six birds. The Band-tailed Guan is a relatively typical blackish-brown cracid, becoming dark rufous over the back and olive-brown glossed darker on the breast, and takes its vernacular name from the broad chestnut tips to the rectrices.