Bird Info

Plain Chachalaca /chachalaca vetula (Ortalis vetula)

Voice: Deep, raucous “cha-cha-lac,” with females being higher pitched.

Plain Chachalaca
Status: Plain Chachalaca is a locally common resident throughout the Valley, occupying dense woodlands from Falcon Dam to the Laguna Madre. Most often seen at refuge feeders where they can be common to abundant. This noisy bird often travels in small groups, yet sometimes occurs in large groups of up to 30 birds or more. Chachalacas are often seen foraging along the ground, climbing in trees, or gliding from the mid-canopy levels of tall shade trees.

Habitat: Dense thornscrub and riparian woodland habitats throughout the Valley.

Best Spots: Feeding stations at Bentsen SP inner loop; other good spots are the feeders at Santa Ana NWR and Sabal Palm Grove. Also seen at the World Birding Center's Resaca de la Palma in Brownsville, common and gregarious year round at Resaca de la Palma State Park

Similar Species: Plain Chachalaca is unmistakable, and can be confused with no other bird within range. Although White-tipped Dove also has a white-tipped tail, it is not nearly as large as Plain Chachalaca, nor as long-necked and long-tailed.

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All Bird call recordings © John C. Arvin.
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