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Crimson-rumped toucanet

Aulacorhynchus haematopygus

Description: Crimson-rumped toucanets are mostly green in color and, as the name implies, have a red rump. They are somewhat darker and have a bronze tint above. The blue-green tail has some reddish-brown tips. The patch at the base of the mandible, area around the eyes and broad band across the breast are blue. The long, curved beak is reddish-brown and black, with a vertical white stripe at the base. Eye skin is brown and the iris is dark.

Size: Length averages 14 inches (35 cm); weight is between five to eight ounces (142-227 gr).

Behavior: Usually seen in pairs or small flocks of eight or so. These noisy, active birds cover a lot of area when looking for food in the mid to canopy levels of the forest.

Diet: Diet consists primarily of fruits. They also eat insects for protein during the breeding season. Occasionally they feed on small animals, eggs, lizards, etc. Water is mainly from fruits, however, they have been seen drinking from bromeliads.

Communication: Vocalizations are quite varied, ranging from low, nasal repetitive sounds to more melodic calls.

Reproduction: Nests are high up in hollow areas usually in rotted wood and unused woodpecker holes. Even though the bill is long, it is not effective for digging – they must rely on old nest holes. They can enlarge the opening if needed and the wood shavings are at the bottom of the nests, on which two to four shiny, white eggs are laid. The nestlings hatch after 16 or 17 days, with both parents feeding fruit to the babies for up to eight weeks. They are blind and naked at birth, with feathers developing at four weeks. They fledge at approximately 40 days.

Habitat/range: They are found in the humid Andean forests in South America (Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela).

Status: Listed as Least Concern (LC) on IUCN Red List.