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Fiery-billed aracari

Pteroglossus frantzii

Description: The Fiery-billed aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii) is not sexually dimorphic. The beak is large, with the upper part being fiery-orange and black on the lower portion; bill is unique in that it is green at the base. The bare facial skin is black, turning to a reddish-brown color behind the yellow eye. The head and chest are black, with upper body being deep olive-green. The thighs are reddish-brown; the upper tail and rump are red, with a red collar on the back neck; legs are green. The bright yellow underparts are highlighted with a red band crossing the abdomen and a round black spot centered on the breast.

Size: Adults average an approximate length of 17 inches (43 cm) and a weight of nine ounces (250 gr).

Behavior: Flocks of up to ten birds usually fly through the forest and will forage singly, in pairs or in the group. They tend to roost socially with adults and their fledged young sleeping in the same hole, with tails folded over their backs.

Diet: The arboreal Fiery-billed aracarai is mainly a fruit-eater, but also feeds on lizards, insects, bird eggs, and other small prey, particuarly during the nesting period.

Communication: The call of this species is usually a single or two-noted distinct “keeseek” or “pseek” sound.

Reproduction: Courtship may involve feeding, tapping of the bill against a tree, dueling and
calling. An average of two white eggs are laid in a tree cavity, often an old woodpecker nest. Incubation is approximately 16 days and involves both parents. Care of young being provided by both parents, previous offspring or other adults, The chicks are believed to fledge at about six weeks of age but will continue to be fed by parents for several more weeks.

Habitat/range: Found in lowland forests and clearings, this species has one of the smallest ranges of any toucan along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica to western Panama.

Status: Listed as Least Concern by IUCN.