Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula


The Plain Chachalaca is the most northerly of the Cracids, distributed from Texas south to Costa Rica along the Gulf Coast and lowlands. It is easy to locate by its raucous "cha-cha-lac" calls that ring out from subtropical forest edge. Plain Chachalacas roam in wary flocks of around a dozen individuals that run or glide away from perceived threats. The species is dark slaty-brown with a buffy belly and long, square, dark tail.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Gerrit Vyn

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: