Blue-throated piping guan

Pipile cumanensis

At the Zoo

South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary

Fascinating Facts

  • The blue-throated piping guan is widespread throughout the northern and western regions of the Amazon rainforest.
  • They spend nearly all of their time in trees, rarely descending to the ground and regularly visit clay and salt licks to supplement their diets.
  • They will sometimes ascend over 5,000 feet into the mountains in search of food.

Physical Characteristics

Blue-throated piping guans are medium sized birds, about 24-28 inches tall. Primarily black and white in color, they have bare facial skin that can be blue. Their white or pale blue beaks have black tips and their legs are a reddish color.


Piping guans live in tropical rainforests, semi-deciduous forests and dry savanna woodlands. They prefer to live in areas close to rivers.

When looking for food, they search for palm fruit, flowers, figs and snails.

Social Behavior

Blue-throated piping guans will often forage for food in flocks of up to 15 birds. Breeding begins in the rainy season and three eggs are laid in a twig nest which is built in the dense canopy of the rainforest.

Status In The Wild

Least Concern – IUCN 2014

The blue-throated guan is hunted for food and is losing habitat as forests are converted for agricultural use.

Animals & Exhibits