Skip to main content

Humboldt’s lettered aracari

Pteroglosus inscriptus

Description: Lettered aracaris are named for the row of black inscriptions or letters that accent the upper mandible. The Humboldt’s lettered aracari is a subspecies that can be distinguished from the nominate race by its size and coloring, especially the bill. Its head and throat are black; the chest is deep yellow; the breast-belly border has a rusty tinge; the wings, back and tail feather are dark green; the rump area feathers are red; the thighs are cinnamon colored and the legs are gray. The bill of the Humboldt’s is longer than other lettered aracari species. The mandible (bottom) is completely black; the maxilla (top) is orange to gold and the coloring extends farther to the tip; the culmen (upper ridge of the bill) and the tip are black; and the basal line is orange.

Size: They range in size from 13-16 inches (33- 41cm) including the bill and weigh 4-6.5 ounces (113-185 gr).

Behavior: They roost socially throughout the year. The small group usually consists of five to six adults and their fledged offspring.

Diet: This aracari feeds on fruit, insects and nestlings of other birds.

Communication: Their call is a fast series of “kik” or “kek” notes.

Reproduction: Nesting is done in hollows of trees. The female lays two to four white eggs that are incubated for about 16 days by both parents. Once hatched, the blind and naked chicks are fed by their parents and older offspring for about six weeks. After fledging, they are fed by their parents for several more weeks.

Habitat/range: The Humboldt’s lettered aracari inhabits the tropical lowland forest, including seasonally flooded forest and secondary forest in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Status: The Humboldt’s lettered aracari has not been assessed for IUCN.