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Curassow, Blue-Billed

Scientific Name: Crax alberti

The blue-billed curassow is the world’s most threatened species in the Cracidae family, a group of tropical and subtropical birds native to Central and South America.

The Rare Curassow

Only inhabiting a very small region of northern Columbia, the blue-billed curassow’s numbers are quickly diminishing due to the use of farming pesticides and destruction of native rainforest. A recent survey in 2009 predicted that the true population of this species lies between 250 and 999 individuals, making it one of the rarest birds in the world.

The blue-billed curassow is listed as of Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It has been found extinct in historically native habitat and its population continues to decline as human involvement in the area continues.

This species is native to the Magdalena Valley rainforest of Columbia and its range and habitat is being diminished by continued deforestation.

The blue-billed curassow makes its meals on fruits, shoots, small invertebrates, and possibly even carrion.

This bird is 32 to 37 inches in length and is primarily black in color, with a distinguishing blue beak and white under parts that stand out next to the pure black of its wings and body. The wing plumage may also contain small bluish green glimmers that shine against its almost primarily pitch-black back. On the underside of the wings and tail is fine white barring that separates itself from other similar Cracidae species. The head of the blue-billed curassow has curled black feathers that make up its crest, a standout trait when compared to the rest of this slick bird.

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