Cha-cha bird

Here’s another bird that just barely makes it into the U.S., where it resides in the Rio Grand river valley in South Texas — the Chachalaca.  They are related to chickens and turkeys, and sort of resemble them in looks and  habits, but Chachalacas, and their close cousins the Guans, and Currasows, make up their own tropically distributed family, the Cracidae.

plain-chachalaca-

Plain brown, with long legs, and a long striped tail, the Chachalacas really do look like arboreal chickens.

You almost never see just one Chachalaca — they are highly social, and quite happy foraging either on the ground or in trees.

plain-chachalaca-

They explore leaf litter, as well as bark crevices in the trees, where they find buds, berries, seeds, even new leaves to snack on.  They might even consume a bug or two in their search, but they are primarily vegetarian.

plain-chachalaca-

When one bird finds something good to eat, the others rush over to share in the find.

Highly social birds are often highly vocal, and Chachalacas are no exception.  Click on the video to hear a sample of their cackling conversation.

plain-chachalaca-

Plain Chachalaca with something to say…

 

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