Chestnut-eared aracari

Pteroglossus castanotis

Description: As the name implies, Chestnut-eared aracaris have a chestnut coloring around the throat and ears. The head is black and the back and tail dark green to almost black. Their undersides are yellow with a red band and rump. Their dark brown hooked beaks have a yellow-orange stripe along the bottom of the upper mandible. The serrated edge of the upper mandible is prominent. The whitish eyes are surrounded by grayish-blue facial skin. The feet and legs are yellowish-green. Sexes are somewhat similar but the female has more brown on the head, shorter bill and the black area on lower throat is not as wide.

Size: One of the larger aracaris, it measures 18 inches (46 cm) and weighs 9-11 ounces (255-312 gr).

Behavior: Chestnut-eared aracaris live in flocks of over ten individuals. Some displays take place during breeding season, such as raising the rump feathers or displaying their colorful, patterned bill.

Diet: Although largely frugivorous, diet may also include flowers, nectar, nuts and animal prey.

Communication: They are very vocal birds whose sounds range from high-pitched, piercing, irregular calls to more song-like shorter sounds.

Reproduction: Breeding season varies according to range. Two to four white eggs are laid in nest holes previously made by woodpeckers. Both sexes incubate for a period of 14-16 days. It is noted that the male will assist when the female is
feeding. Both parents feed the chicks, often by regurgitating food items. Fledgling occurs at 30 to 40 days.

Habitat/range: These aracaris are found in wet forests and savannas, often close to cultivated land. The most widespread aracari, they are found in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador and Argentina.

Status: Classified as Least Concern on IUCN Red List; CITES, Appendix III.

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Piciformes
Family:Ramphastidae
Genus:Pteroglossus
Species:castanotis