Fun Crested Guan Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 19, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Crested guan facts are interesting.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

The crested guan (Penelope purpurascens)  is a social bird from the central parts of America and Mexico. They are mostly restricted to the forest of the pine-oak tree and evergreen biome which is lined with leaves. Being monogamous by nature, the breeding season for the species occurs in the rainy season where the female lays two to three eggs in the nest, every gestation period. Comparatively loud, the species have black feathers on the plumage, the rump, and the head with reddish bare legs. The skin near the face is bare and blue while the neck and the chest are red. It feeds on seeds, fruits, and insects. These birds are often seen on the hills with an altitude below 3280 ft (1000 m) from the ground in search of proper food and shelter. The male bird is responsible for building the nest and defending the nest near the stump in the territory. The females are responsible for protecting the offspring till they attain the age of maturity.

If you like this, you might want to know about leghorn chicken and common murre.

Crested Guan Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a crested guan?

The crested guan (Penelope purpurascens) is a bird of the Cracidae family. Found near Costa Rica the adults form long broad tail as an adult.

What class of animal does a crested guan belong to?

Based in the dark tropical rainforest mainly, these species belong to the Aves class of animals. Belonging to the kingdom Animalia, it is a member of the Penelope genus.

How many crested guans are there in the world?

Even though the Central America-based guans are listed on the Least Concern category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the exact number of the birds is not known.

Where does a crested guan live?

The crested guan location is confined to the different parts of Central America. In the tropical rainforest, the crested guan is found in small groups in the Neotropic. As they are arboreal in nature, they are mostly spotted as a group. The guans could be spotted in the lowlands forests that could range from the southern parts of Mexico to western Ecuador and southern parts of Venezuela. In Central America, these birds inhabit Costa Rica and in the south of Ecuador, alongside Panama.

What is a crested guan's habitat?

The crested guan biome mostly includes humid climatic conditions. They reside in the evergreen and semi-deciduous forests of the central parts of America. Few groups of the blue-gray guans are often seen in the local pine-oak forests as well. They prefer the stump of the tree rather than the upper segments of a tree. Even though the open savannas are present, the guans usually avoid the open space and mainly inhabit drier habitats and dark forests. These forests receive regular rainfall and the lowlands are the home to them. The altitude of these forests may range up to 3280-9842 ft (1000 to 3000 m) from the ground.

Who do crested guans live with?

The crested guan is mostly a monogamous and social bird by nature. Found in Costa Rica, these birds usually do not live alone and are seen in small groups of 6-12 members. If not in groups, they could be spotted in pairs.

How long does a crested guan live?

The exact lifespan of the crested guans is not known, but an average guan can live to 15-20 years.

How do they reproduce?

The crested guans are a bunch of social birds. They are usually seen in pairs or in a group. Even though they are monogamous in nature, in rare cases polygamous traits have been noticed in the species. For the guan, the breeding period occurs during the rainy season. So, the breeding season is between March and June. The incubation continues up to 20-25 days and the female lays up to two to three eggs near the stump of the tree, lined with leaves. The eggs are mostly white in color and take around 12-15 days to hatch.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are listed in the category of Least Concern. Even though it falls under the Least Concern category, due to the excessive destruction of the rainforests, a decreasing trend in the population of the guans has been recorded.

Crested Guan Fun Facts

What do crested guans look like?

There are almost seven different species of guans currently residing on the planet. All these species have certain similarities in terms of their appearances. The crested guan (Penelope purpurascens) is a large bird with certain distinctive features. It has a bushy crest with a red neck and breast. The bushy crest appears to be brown with white spotting, while the entire body is covered in blue-gray feathers including the wing and the head. The plumage is quite different from the rest of the body in terms of coloration. Hailing from Costa Rica, the species have a noticeable long broad tail along with a reddish pair of legs. The face appears to be blue in color with a small crest on its head as well.

Crested guan facts are fun to read.

How cute are they?

Needless to say, these birds are extremely beautiful and appalling by their appearances. The different shades of bright colors on them throughout the wing, rump, and middle body make them attractive to the eyes. The red shade on their neck and breast separates them from the rest of the members of the Aves class of animals.

How do they communicate?

The crested guan is a loud, noisy, and high-pitched bird. They produce loud calls to alert their member mostly during the early mornings or late in the afternoon. These are mostly yelping calls, that sound like 'yoink yoink' or 'kyeh-kyeh'. On rare occasions, a  low gruff 'urmmff' is recorded as well.

How big is a crested guan?

The crested guan has an average weight of 3.5-5.3 lb (1620-2430 g) and an average length of 28.3-35.8 in (72-91cm). These birds are pretty big and slightly bigger than an average guan that goes up to 25.5 in (65cm) on average.

How fast can a crested guan fly?

Mostly residing on the trees in the dark forest, the crested guan has a fast pace. Although the exact speed is not known, they can smoothly glide through the dark forest with tall trees in search of adequate food and shelter to survive. They have a smooth and strong flight pattern.

How much does a crested guan weigh?

An average crested guan size may vary between 3.5-5.3 lb (1620-2430 g). It is way bulkier than a kestrel bird or hummingbird.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name assigned to the males and the females of the species. They are usually referred to as the respective gender that the individuals belong to.

What would you call a baby crested guan?

The baby crested guan is usually known as the crested guan chick.

What do they eat?

The crested guan is omnivore by nature.  The diet could range from seeds to insects. The species feeds on leaves, seeds, and the fruit of the wild. The birds also feed on insects, crabs, and worms. The strong flying patterns help them to search for adequate food in the forest. They mostly collect their food from the trees and the intersections on the trees.

Are they poisonous?

No, the crested guan is not at all poisonous to humankind. Although they are birds of the wild, there has been no record of them being harmful or dangerous like a hawk.

Would they make a good pet?

Considering they are wild birds, it is not safe to keep these species in captivity as pets. Also, it is illegal to keep guan birds as pets in some countries.

Did you know...

The different types of guans are the black guan, white-crested guan, Panama crested guan, great curassow crested guan, and horned guan. These species are all related to each other and mainly arboreal in nature.

Female crested guan is comparatively more aggressive and noisy than their male counterparts.

The male birds attract the females for mating by executing different flight patterns.

How is a crested guan a keystone species?

Along with the crested guan habitat, the crested guan family falls under the keystone species due to their eating habits. Since the related members are mostly fruit eaters, they help in the dispersion of the seeds and germination of the seeds.

Are crested guans endangered?

No, this species is not an endangered species and is listed on the Least concern category by the IUCN.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including bobwhite quail facts and whiskered treeswift facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable crested argus coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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