The curassow, a very important kind of bird in South America, is better known as paujil, paují (or pajuí), hoco, mamaco, pavón, or muitú in some Latin American countries such as Mexico, Venezuela, and of course, Ecuador. Their aspect and other details make them extremely unusual.


There are four genera: Pauxi, Nothocrax, Mitu and Crax, and three of them are in the South American tropic, formed by Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. One very particular Crax species is only found in Mexico, and others can be found also in Brazil; Peru and Bolivia. This species of birds comes from the Cracinae family, Galliformes order, and they are original from this side of the world.



Some studies indicate that curassows probably diverged from their closest line relatives, which could be the guans, during the Oligocene. Their original ancestors could be the megapodes of Australasia. Despite these facts, further information is needed. They originated in the deep jungles of some Latin American countries, which make them totally exclusive in the world. The oldest cracid found is 50 million years and it was found in what we now today as Wyoming, in the United States.

  • Some of them, like the Wattled Curassow, are endangered.

At present, this type of birds is known as one of the world’s most exotic species. They are elusive, but more arboreal than other species of gamebirds such as pheasants or megapodes. Curassows feed on the ground, but roost in the trees of lowland jungles, misty forests, or arid woodlands.


Crax globulosa, the Amazon bird


There is a singular species only found in the Amazon, the Crax globulosa, which can be seen in the Amazonian lands of Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Bolivia, without further subspecies.

  • They can reach a height of 89 centimeters, and their feathers are black (excepting the abdomen, which is white).

Males have a small protuberance on their beaks, their iris is dark brown, and they live near the rivers, over dry areas.

  • Between August and September they start to reproduce themselves: the male curassow bends its neck back and puts its head on its back while it walks around the female for her to accept him.

This is the most representative species of Neotropical wilderness, since they are undomesticated: for this reason, seeing a curassow flying, resting or feeding is all of an experience that you shouldn’t be told by other expeditioners. Come and see them in Achuar Lodge, where exoticness is at its highest level!