White-winged guan

White-winged guan

White-winged guan

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Penelope albipennis

The white-winged guan (Penelope albipennis ) is a bird in the chachalaca, guan and curassow family Cracidae. It is endemic to northwestern Peru.


The white-winged guan has an average length of 85.2 cm (2.8 ft) and average weight of 1.6 kg (3.5 lb). It has blackish brown plumage overlain by a green gloss. Much of its forepart has short whitish or pale gray streaks. Its white primaries show as a slash on the folded wing. Its reddish eye is surrounded by bare purple skin, its bill is dark gray with a black tip, and it has an orange dewlap.



Biogeographical realms

The white-winged guan is now found only in the departments of Lambayeque, Cajamarca, and Piura in northwestern Peru. It is confined to an area that is at most 190 km (120 mi) long and 40 km (25 mi) wide and is divided by a major road and its accompanying human settlement. The 1876 specimen had been collected much further north than the current known area.

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The white-winged guan inhabits a very specialized landscape, small forested ravines and nearby slopes on the west side of the Andes. In elevation it generally ranges between 500 and 1,100 m (1,600 and 3,600 ft) but has been reported as low as 300 m (980 ft) amd as high as 1,385 m (4,540 ft).

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White-winged guan habitat map


White-winged guan habitat map
White-winged guan
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Habits and Lifestyle

The white-winged guan typically begins calling before dawn and at first light moves from overnight roosts to feed until about 9:00. They are then mostly sedentary until late afternoon, when they typically feed again before roosting for the night.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

The white-winged guan is usually found in pairs or family groups, though several groups commonly will feed in one fruiting tree. It eats fruits, flowers, leaves, and seeds. Fruits of Ficus figs and Cordia lutea are the most important part of the diet because they are available during most of the year.

Mating Habits

The white-winged guan is territorial and mated pairs stay together over successive years. Their breeding season spans from November to May, a period which overlaps the resource-abundant rainy season. They construct a nest of twigs and leaves in vine-covered trees, typically about 2.5 m (8 ft) above the ground. The clutch size can be one to three eggs but two is the usual number.


Population number

The IUCN has assessed the white-winged guan as Endangered, an improvement in 2018 from its previous Critically Endangered status. Its population of approximately 200 mature birds is believed to be stable. Several refuges have been created specifically to protect the species and reintroduction efforts have helped agument the current six to 10 locations that host the bird. However, habitat destruction and hunting remain as threats.


1. White-winged guan Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-winged_guan
2. White-winged guan on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22678382/131447454
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/326889

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