Thursday, January 28, 2010

Without a Quam

Here's yet another very nice photo from Graham Sampson taken during the Gallon Jug Christmas Bird Count a couple of weeks ago. It's a Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens), a member of the cracid family and known colloquially as "quam." I like this photo since the red dewlap and eyes are so vivid in an otherwise brown bird. This is a big bird, about turkey size, and is most generally found in the canopy, often attracting attention with its heavy wing flapping and noisy calls (listen to a sample at xeno canto here). Like most large birds, the quam is heavily hunted so to find them in good numbers here in Gallon Jug Estate/Chan Chich Lodge is an indication of good conservation in practice.

And, may I add, quams do not make good pets. "Jean Guan" was rehabbed here some years ago ... and took to chasing, pecking and harassing anyone that was not part of his/her immediate human family. A seriously ticked off adult guan is to be avoided and we soon learned to give Jean a wide berth. Jean Guan was relocated to a nice place in the forest where we hope that he/she is living happily ever after.

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