Bio Facts: Curassow, Blue-billed
Inhabits humid forests up to 1,200m
83-93cm. Large, mainly black, terrestrial bird. Male black with white vent and tip of tail. Gray colored bill with fleshy blue cere and hanging wattle. Curled, black crest feathers. Pinkish legs. Female black with black and white crest feathers. Fine white barring on wings and tail. Rufous lower belly and under tail. Bluish base to bill.
In the wild, fruit, shoots, invertebrates and carrion. In captivity, insects, fruit, grain, and commercially prepared meat.
CITES III in Colombia. IUCN lists this species as critically endangered.
Very little is known about this species in the wild. Breeding occurs in the dry seasons. Chicks have been observed in March-August.
Only the female grows a knob on the bill.
Vast areas of forest have been cleared since the 17th century and are used for cultivation, cotton and illegal drug plantations, oil extraction and mining. Expansion of coffee plantations, logging and marijuana plantations and government spraying of herbicides has affected the area where this curassow lives. Destruction to their habitat has accelerated over the past decade and it is estimated that 1000-2500 blue-billed curassow remain in their former range. With increased access to remote areas and hunting, their population is predicted to continue to decline.
Several reserves and National Parks make up a portion of the range of this species. Unfortunately, some areas are so vast that implementing protective measures has proved to be difficult. Scientists hope to more accurately determine the blue-billed curassow population and distribution. Educational campaigns to limit hunting and to provide resources to replace lost income from hunting are being developed.