The Fiery-billed Aracari of Costa Rica
The Fiery-billed Aracari is a stunning toucan that is named for its red bill, but it has a brightly colored plumage to go with its intriguing beak.
Fiery-billed Aracari Distribution
The Fiery-billed Aracari, also known as (or considered closely related to) the Collared Aracari, is particular to the region of Southern Costa Rica, especially near the Caribbean, and Western Panama. Its main habitat is lowland and premontane forest, and is seldom found above 1,000 meters for the Collared Aracari and 1,500 Meters for The Fiery-billed.
The closely related Collared Aracari has a slightly wider range; populating areas from Mexico to Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.
Mating & Reproduction
The Fiery-billed Aracaris, like other toucans in Costa Rica, nest in the hollowed out cavities of trees. Some of these cavities are natural, but others are made by woodpeckers. Unlike other toucans in the same area, the Fiery-billed Aracaris roost together with up to five sharing a cavity with nestlings. The female will lay a clutch of 1 to 2 eggs, and the chicks will incubate in around 16 days. The baby Fiery-billed Aracaris are then raised by all the adult members living in the same nest.
The Collared Aracaris are similar to the Fiery-billed Aracari in the practice of having a combined roost. They also look for the natural and woodpecker carved tree cavities. The Collared Aracaris, however, usually lay around 3 white eggs, and the eggs incubate in around 16 days. The fledglings are also raised by all of the toucans sharing the same nest, and they normally leave the nest after about 6 weeks.
The Fiery-billed Aracaris travel in flocks of around 6 to 10 birds. Fiery-billed Aracaris are arboreal, and spend most of their time in the forest canopy looking for fruit, insects, lizards, nestlings, eggs and small prey to eat. The main source of food for these birds is fruit.
Collared Aracaris have a similar diet to the Fiery-billed Aracaris, and they tend forage in the same area. They are also arboreal, and can be observed flying in quick undeviating flight patterns from tree to tree.
Although the Fiery-billed Aracari and the Collared Aracari share much of the same characteristics and physical traits, they are considered to be separate species by most zoologists and ornithologists. Some scientists, however, do label them as a conspecific species meaning that they belong to the same species.
Locations in Costa Rica: Santa Rosa National Park, Barra Honda National Park, Cahuita National Park, Corcovado National Park, La Selva Biological Station
Diet: fruit, eggs, nestlings, insects, lizards, small prey
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: lowland forest, premontane forest
Size: Collared length=39-41 cm weight=190-275 g Fiery-billed length=43 cm weight=250 g
Species: Pteroglossus frantzii & Pteroglossus torquatus