The blue-throated piping guan is a South American bird of the family Cracidae that is somewhat similar in appearance to the turkey.
The blue-throated piping guan is described as "oddly 'prehistoric' (reptilian)" but "handsome". It averages 69 cm (27 in) long, including its neck and tail, both long, the neck and head disproportionately thin and small, the tail disproportionately big. Most of the plumage is black with a greenish gloss—blue-green in cumanensis, olive in grayi. It has a large white patch on each wing, white flecks on the wing coverts and chest, a white patch over the eye, and a white or buffy-white nape (and upper neck in grayi). Both subspecies have a short white or buffy-white crest; in cumanensis it is shaggy and nearly solid-colored; in grayi it is hairier, and the feather shafts are black, appearing as streaks. The bill is baby-blue at the base and cobalt-blue at the tip. Both subspecies have blue bare flesh on the throat with a wattle in cumanensis and a hanging caruncle in grayi. The legs are red.
During the breeding season it is noisy. At dawn it gives a "piping" call of 6 or so slow high-pitched, clear whistles, "slightly ascending in pitch, püüeee, püüeee, püüeee,…", reminiscent of the scale-backed antbird. Its flight display, at dawn or in the daytime, includes "2 quick wing-claps (often barely audible), then 2 whirring rattles with wings," the second seeming to reverse the first as in shuffling cards (Colombia and Venezuela). At other seasons it is usually silent.