A pheasantlike tree-dwelling bird of the guan family, with a loud harsh call. It is found mainly in the forests of tropical America.
- Genus Ortalis, family Cracidae: several species, in particular the plain chachalaca (O. vetula).
- Guans and perhaps chachalacas may be more arboreal than curassows.
- More likely to be seen or heard on the plateau is the little chachalaca, a gallinaceous bird named in part for its noisy call.
- Then came the chachalacas, the chickenlike birds we'd seen the previous day, whose call, I had been promised, I would never forget.
Late 19th century: via South American Spanish from Nahuatl, of imitative origin.
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