Helmet curassow in exhibit

Helmeted Curassow

Scientific Name
Pauxi pauxi
Geographic Range
Western Venezuela and northern Colombia
Fruit, seeds, leaves, grasses, and buds
Helmeted curassow in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Vulnerable Endangered Status Graph - Vulnerable

More Information

Both male and female helmeted curassows have dark plumage with a blue-green gloss across their back and breast, along with a white belly and a red bill. They tend to forage in pairs or families, mostly on the ground. Their populations are restricted to mountainous cloud forests—specifically in humid gorges with dense undergrowth—up to 7,200 feet in elevation. They avoid forest edges.

Nesting takes place in March. These curassows build nests in tree branches up to 20 feet from the ground. Females lay two eggs, which are incubated for about a month. Both parents care for the young, which reach maturity between the ages of 2 and 3.

Did You Know?

  • Helmeted curassows are named for the large blue-gray casque on their forehead, a bony extension at the top of the bill that is covered with skin.
  • Like domestic chickens, these birds often eat small stones to help with the digestion of seeds and nuts.
  • These birds make courtship displays, such as booming calls, head-bobbing, and picking up stones.


Species Survival Plan logo

Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

Learn More

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

Adopt an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.

Browse the Wish List

African penguin eating a fish

Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

Take Action

Empty Playlist