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Green aracari

Pteroglossus viridis

Description: Named for the dark forest green feathers on the back, wings and tail, it is easy to determine the sex of Green aracaris, particularly in good light. The head and neck feathers of the male are bluish-black and the female’s is a rich shade of chestnut brown. The bill of the female is also a bit smaller. The underside is yellow and the rump has a red patch. The colorful yellow, blue and red bill has serrated edges and is more distinctly hooked than other aracaris. The eye, which has a black iris, is highlighted with a patch of blue skin in front and a patch of red behind.

Size: One of the smallest aracaris, it measures 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) and weighs 3.8-5.6 ounces (99-59 gr).

Behavior: Green aracaris congregate in small groups in the treetops of their forest home. They spend a good deal of time foraging and feeding together in the canopy to lower levels of the understory. Although they are able flyers, aracaris are thought to be sedentary. They will migrate during severe food shortages. Calls are used to communicate danger and during courtship.

Diet: Diet consists of fruit, nuts, insects and animal prey such as small lizards. Also known to include eggs and nestlings of other birds in their diet.

Reproduction: Aracaris use ready-made nesting holes, usually from woodpeckers. Complex courtship rituals include calls, bill fencing, feeding or dancing. Clutch size is two to four eggs. After a
16-19 day incubation period, the chicks fledge at about five weeks. Both parents continue to feed the chicks for approximately six to eight weeks.

Habitat/range: They are found in tropical rainforests and savannahs of northern South America (Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname and Brazil).

Status: IUCN listed as Least Concern (LC); CITES Appendix II. Included in AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP). This program cooperatively manages specific, and typically threatened or endangered populations.