Although the black-fronted piping-guan is thought of as a fruit-eater, it has opportunistic feeding habits, taking insects and molluscs where possible, as well as seeds, grains and buds. In some areas, the vast majority of its diet comes from the fruit of the palmito (Euterpe edulis) but also from figs (Ficus), araçazeiros (Psidium), bicuiba (Virola), pindaúba (Xylopia), and guarumo (Cecropia) plants. It is also thought to ingest mud as a means of taking in salt (2) (4).
In common with other guan species, the black-fronted piping-guan is found alone or in groups of up to five, but it is known to be territorial to outsiders, shaking its wings in display and creating a machine-like rattle. The groups break off into pairs for the breeding season, building a platform-like nest of twigs in a tree-fork. During September up to four eggs are laid by the female and these are incubated for about 28 days. Chicks are seen in October and November but little is known of the parental care they receive or their dispersal once fledged (2).
In some places, this species makes some seasonal movements, partly in response to the fruiting of the palmito which ripens first at lower altitudes and later in the year at higher altitudes. Parents are known to move on shortly after nesting, but whether the chicks accompany them is unclear (2).