Ramphastidae

Black-necked Aracari

Black-necked Aracari, Pteroglossus aracari

Description: Black-necked aracaris have a black head and throat with dark green to almost black back and tail. Its undersides are yellow with a red band and rump. The upper bill (maxilla) is ivory and the lower bill (mandible) is black. Sexes are similar. Size: One of the larger aracaris, it measures 14-18 inches (36-46 […]

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Spot-billed Toucanet

Spot-billed Toucanet, Selenidera maculirostris

Description: The head of the male is black except for the bluish-green bare skin around the eyes and the yellow ear-tufts. The upperparts and tail are olive-green. The bill is ivory with black vertical stripes, large spots and a yellowish tip. Females are similar but the head is chestnut and the underparts are a rufous […]

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Saffron Toucanet

Saffron Toucanet, Pteroglossus bailloni

Description: This toucanet is easily identified by its saffron yellow head and breast, olive mantle and red rump. Sexes are similar but the female is duller (somewhat more olive in color) and the bill is shorter. The greenish-horn bill has red patches surrounded by yellowish-gray at the base. The rump and ocular skin are red. […]

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Crimson-Rumped Toucanet

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 […]

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Chestnut-Eared Aracari

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 […]

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Keel-billed toucan

Keel-billed toucan, Ramphastos sulfuratus

Also known as the Rainbow-billed or Sulfur-breasted toucan, it is popular for its resemblance to “Toucan Sam™”, the “Froot Loops®” mascot. The northernmost of the large toucans, it ranges from the Mexican state of San Louis Potosi south to Colombia and Venezuela. Much habitat has been lost to agriculture. Though first hatched in captivity at the Houston Zoo, in 1974, it has not bred consistently in collections. The DWA is involved in a captive breeding consortium for this species involving both private collections and public zoos.

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Emerald toucanet

Emerald toucanet, Aulacorrhynchus prasinus

This is the northernmost member of the toucan family, found from the mountain forests of the Central Mexican states of San Louis Potosi and Veracruz, south to the Yucatan Peninsula and Northern Guatemala. Although not thought to be in immediate danger, its habitat shrinks as highland forests continue to be cut down. It was called Xochitenacaltototl by the Aztecs, who received a tribute of living specimens every year from Mexico’s Gulf Coast. It has reproduced in several collections, including the DWA.

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Green aracari

Green aracari, Pteroglossus viridis

Before the 1980s, this small toucan from Northeastern South America was very rare in captivity. Since the first captive breeding took place in 1980, in a California private aviary, hundreds have been hatched in the US, and the captive population appears to be self-sustaining. Those in zoos are carefully monitored for genetic diversity through a Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and many others are kept privately. Since 2001, more than 50 have hatched at the DWA. This is one of the few toucans whose sexes can be easily distinguished; males have black heads and the females have brown heads.

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Curl-crested aracari

Curl-crested aracari, Pteroglossus beauharnaesii

This elegant bird is unique among toucans for having a cap of tightly curled feathers that appear “permed”. While not a rare bird in its range (south of the Amazon, divided among Peru, Bolivia, and Amazonian Brazil), it was almost unknown in captivity before the 1960s, and has never been common in zoos. The Curl-crested aracari was not bred in captivity until 1996. The DWA has had immense success propagating this species, with more than 100 birds since 2006.

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