Fun Horned Guan Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Horned guan facts let us know about exotic birds.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

Have you been recently taken a look at birds like the toucan? If yes, then we have a special recommendation for you. The horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) is one of those endangered bird species of this world that people often forget about. Also, this unusual bird hails from the mysterious cloud forests of Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala and prefers to live near volcanoes. Black glossy feathers cover its body and near the base of its long tail is a white ring, and the belly is mostly white. However, the most interesting thing is the horn present on its head that lies between the eyes. It has a simple diet of fruit, and it prefers to sit in the tall trees of the forest.

Want to dive into its world? Keep reading to learn some horned guan facts. Also, don't forget to check out magpie goose facts and erect crested penguin facts.

Horned Guan Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a horned guan?

The horned guan is a turkey-like bird found in Central America.

What class of animal does a horned guan belong to?

The horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus ) belongs to the class Aves, just like frigates, and to the family Cracidae. It shares the family with other guan birds but it isn't a true guan.

How many horned guans are there in the world?

According to the current population trends of this bird, there seem to be around 600-1,700 individuals. This places the horned guan on the Endangered list, and its population doesn't seem to be increasing.

Where does a horned guan live?

Horned guans are endemic to the Mexican state of Chiapas and to the cloud forests of Guatemala. Even though this bird species tries its best to stay away from human encounters, there are still some occurrences of hunting.

What is a horned guan's habitat?

Horned guans prefer to stay in cloud forests that are high up in the mountains. Even though it has a small population, a considerable amount of the birds are found in the cloud forests of Guatemala and Mexico, especially in areas with volcanoes. Usually, the elevation range of the forest is around 4,931-8,218 ft (1503-2504.8 m) and the guans prefer to have a thick ground cover.

Who do horned guans live with?

The horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) may live alone or it may live in flocks. In areas with a good amount of fruit trees, the birds are often seen in groups of up to ten.

How long does a horned guan live?

We didn't find any information about the lifespan of horned guans, but the great curassow bird, which is closely related to these endangered birds, lives for up to 24 years.

How do they reproduce?

These birds may have a varied breeding season depending on the area. However, it is usually when the rains are low. This species follows polygynous breeding, where a male can mate with three to four females. Each female usually has two eggs. The most interesting parts about this species are the nests, as they are high up in the trees rather than being on the forest ground. Moreover, the females line the nests with their breast feathers. It takes around 34–36 days for the two eggs to hatch, and the mother feeds the chick with regurgitated fruit. The red horn isn't present at birth.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) currently has the status of being an Endangered species. Only a handful of birds are left in Mexico and Guatemala, mainly because of habitat loss and a limited range. The hunting behavior found in some parts of Chiapas and Guatemala has also contributed to the low frequency of this bird.

Horned Guan Fun Facts

What do horned guans look like?

Horned guan facts are great for kids.

When it comes to the physical description of this bird, the thing that stands out the most is the red horn on its head. The position of this red horn on its head is usually right between the eyes, and its average measurement is around 2 in (5 cm). Apart from its horn, the color red is also present in its leg and feet. Apart from this, the upper body of this bird is covered in glossy black plumage along with a few blue streaks. It also sports a beautiful long tail with a white ring near the base. The neck, breast, and belly are covered in white feathers with black speckles. In all, the horned guan is a gorgeous bird that only a few people of this world will be able to see. Comparatively, the tail and body of juveniles are brown.

How cute are they?

Just like a turkey, these aren't the cutest birds you will see, but the glossy black plumage does manage to make our heads turn.

How do they communicate?

The world of a horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) is dominated by sounds and calls, as both sexes have distinct calls. Moreover, the male horned guan bird's calls come in five different varieties, while females can make almost eight types of sounds, and are usually louder than the males. Usually, the males make a deep and slow mooing sound while the females make a 'guurk-guurk-guurk' sound. A female can also make the 'guauuu-guauuu-guauuu' horned guan sound.

How big is a horned guan?

The average size range of this bird species is around 37-46 in (94-116.8 cm), making it a medium to a large-sized bird. Compared to it, the chachalaca bird species have an average body length of 19-23 in (48.2-58.4 cm).

How fast can a horned guan fly?

The horned guan bird wings aren't quite good as the horned guan bird wingspan is small, and this restricts it from flying over long distances. We couldn't find any exact data regarding the speed of the horned guan birds.

How much does a horned guan weigh?

We are yet to be aware of the average weight range of this bird species.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There aren't any sex-specific names for the male and female of this species.

What would you call a baby horned guan?

The babies of horned guans are known as chicks.

What do they eat?

As an arboreal species, the horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) prefers to live in trees. The diet of this bird includes a lot of produce from the native fruit trees. However, the birds also indulge in eating green leaves as well as insects from time to time. It has been seen that these birds survive on 63 plant species present in the local forest habitat. Even though it is believed that this bird forages on the ground, we aren't sure about it.

Are they dangerous?

Not much data is found about the behavior of this species as its habitat is quite limited. However, if you happened to be in front of guans, we will suggest you not to irritate it. As a wild bird, its pecking won't be a delight.

Would they make a good pet?

As the horned guans are a severely Endangered species with a very small population living in this world, it is actually illegal to have the birds as pet.

Did you know...

Locally, in Mexico and Guatemala, the horned guan is known as pavon, because 'pavo'  means turkey in Spanish. Some people also call the bird Derby's Penelope.

You may not be lucky enough to spot the horned guan in its native habitat, but you may try Saint Louis Zoo, in Missouri, to have a look at these birds.

How many eggs do horned guan lay?

If you search the nest, you will most likely find two horned guan eggs.

Do horned guans migrate?

No, horned guans don't usually migrate, and they are mostly used to the periphery of their habitat range.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Javan scops owl facts and jungle babbler facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable guan 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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