The Dusky-legged Guan is fairly common in forest, including edge habitats and even nearby scrub, both in lowland and montane areas. The most southerly distributed of the cracids, this species occurs in three disjunct populations, each of which is described as a separate subspecies: in southeastern Brazil (P. o. bronzina); in southern Brazil, southeastern Paraguay, Uruguay, and northeastern Argentina (P. o. obscura),; and in the Andes of southern Bolivia and northwestern Argentina (P. o. bridgesi). While it resembles other Penelope guans, the Dusky-legged Guan co-occurs only with the much smaller Rusty-margined Guan (P. superciliaris). As the name implies, the Dusky-legged is also the only species of Penelope with dark legs. Like other members of the genus, it forages largely in trees, sometimes in fairly large groups at fruiting trees. Flight displays are given frequently at dawn, and include rapid wing-drumming that can be heard for a great distance.