Variable Chachalaca Ortalis motmot


Formerly named the Little Chachalaca, the Variable Chachalaca can be found from southern Venezuela east to northern Brazil. With its chestnut colored head, the Variable Chachalaca is similar in appearance to the Chestnut-winged Chachalaca (O. garrula) and the Rufous-headed Chachalaca (O. erythroptera), but with brown primaries instead of chestnut. These birds prefer dense undergrowth along rivers, tangled coastal scrub and dense second growth. The diet of the Variable Chachalaca consists of berries and fruit, which it forages for in small flocks in trees or on the ground. Nests are made in shrubs or low trees, and consist of a small cup made of roots and flattened sticks lined with leaves.

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Song (Little)

© Mark Robbins

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

Recommended Citation

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