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Horned Guan

Oreophasis derbianus

Did you know?

  • Horned guans are part of the family Cracidae.
  • They closely resemble turkeys.
  • They mainly eat fruit and leaves.
  • Males mate with multiple females, with each hen producing two eggs in a clutch.
  • Their incubation period – time chicks spend in eggs – is one of the longest in their family of cracids, lasting approximately 36 days.

Vital Trees

Horned guans are arboreal, meaning they prefer to spend their time in the trees and rarely come down to the ground. They build their nests high in the leafy tree branches, some reaching up to 66 feet off the ground.

Large and Dramatic

Horned guans are predominantly glossy black, with a unique horn of bare skin extending from the top of their head.

Threat Level

  • Unknown
  • Common
  • Near Threatened
  • Threatened
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild

Critically endangered

The Horned Guan faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.


Southeastern Mexico and Guatemala


Highland forests

We care about horned guans

Only 1,000 to 2,000 horned guans now exist in the wild. Their woodland habitat is being cleared by loggers and coffee farmers, who often clear entire hillsides at a time.

The Saint Louis Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for horned guans. This is a cooperative breeding program, with a number of zoos working together to ensure the survival of the species. We support horned guans in the Bird House at the Zoo. Guests can help horned guans by purchasing bird-friendly coffee and sustainable forest products.

Find this animal in Historic Hill


Historic Hill

Historic Hill is a lovely stroll through one of the oldest parts of the Saint Louis Zoo. From the 1904 World’s Fair Flight Cage to the Spanish architectural flavor of the 1920s in the Bird House, Primate House and Herpetarium to the finishing touches of our thoroughly modern exhibits, this area of the Zoo has a unique ambiance and a nostalgic history that make it a great destination.

Explore Historic Hill