A secretive but very vocal bird of mature humid second growth in the northern and western humid forests below 500m. The Santa Marta race (G. n. sanctamartae) is poorly understood. Distributed from Guatemala and Belize south to northern Colombia.

Uncommon or fairly common locally, it follows army ants and is often found near water.

Image taken at Blue-billed Curassow Reserve (RNA El Paujil) in the mid-Magdalena Valley (foothills of the western slope of the Eastern Andes).