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blue-billed curassow bird
All Animals

Blue-Billed Curassow

There are less than 2,500 of these birds left in the wild. The Houston Zoo has been working to save these birds since the 1970s – in fact there have been more than 50 blue-billed curassows born in Houston!

Stable
Threatened
Endangered

Animal Facts

Scientific Name

Crax alberti

Range

Central and South America

Location in the Zoo

South America’s Pantanal

Cool Animal Fact

This species of bird is one of a only a few that is sexually dimorphic at hatch.

How We Help Save Them 

  • Houston Zoo staff and our Colombian conservation partners installed camera traps and interviewed local communities to determine the presence or absence of blue-billed curassow where the species has undergone a dramatic population decline in Columbia.
  • Thousands of photos were generated from the camera traps and many species were documented that were not known to be in the area.  One mountain lion was spotted on camera, which is the most recent record of this species in the study region, and the first known images of a striped hog-nosed skunk and a greater grison (resembles a honey badger) were also in the images from the camera traps in the Montes de Maria region.
  • The Zoo is also providing support for our conservation partners at Proyecto Titi to replant trees and protect the blue-billed curassow’s forested homes.

Where to See Them Inside the Zoo

As guests walk around the bend, they will be met with the bright and bold colors of two spectacular and rare South American birds: blue-throated macaws and blue-billed curassows.

The blue-billed curassow is amongst the most endangered of all birds. This large, mainly black species is the only curassow with a distinctive blue cere (the spot at the base of the upper bill), earning the bird its common name. The Blue-billed curassow is a shy and critically endangered bird from Colombia, similar to curassow species found in the Pantanal.

More About our Saving Wildlife Efforts

The Houston Zoo has housed and reproduced this rare bird for many years. Our bird staff have provided training and support to South American zoo colleagues in breeding and caring for these birds with the future goal of reintroducing them back into the forests of Colombia. Blue-billed curassows are threatened with habitat loss and hunting in Colombia.

The Zoo’s conservation partners at the Barranquilla Zoo and Proyecto Titi in Colombia are working to reduce hunting pressures, re-plant native trees and protect corridors of forest for this stunning bird and many other species like howler monkeys which you can also see in the Pantanal exhibit at the Houston Zoo.

Blue-billed Curassow News / More ›

Continued Search for Rare Bird in Colombia
April 23, 2018

Continued Search for Rare Bird in Colombia

Your Visit is Helping a Rare Bird in Colombia
March 1, 2018

Your Visit is Helping a Rare Bird in Colombia

Saving a Species One Chick at a Time
April 20, 2017

Saving a Species One Chick at a Time