Return of Bird of the Week: Fiery-billed Aracari

By popular demand, we’ll stay with Ramphastidae, the family of long-billed birds that includes last week’s Keel-billed Toucan. Here’s a Fiery-billed Aracari.

Fiery-billed Aracari, Costa Rica

Fiery-billed Aracari, Costa Rica

Unlike the more widely distributed Keel-billed Toucan, the Fiery-billed Aracari has a pretty restricted range, limited to the Pacific slopes of eastern Costa Rica and western Panama.

This aracari’s diet is somewhat catholic; while primarily frugivorous (fruit- and nut-eating), it also takes insects, as well as the eggs and young of birds as large as pigeons and woodpeckers.

Fiery-billed Aracaris are cavity nesters and cavity roosters. They’ve been observed forcibly evicting woodpeckers from their nesting holes, which they then use to rear their own brood.

Fiery-billed Aracari, Panama

Fiery-billed Aracari, Panama

The Fiery-billed Aracari feeds in small flocks and roosts in cavities, cramming several birds into a cavity. Like toucans, the bill of the aracari is both a powerful nutcracker and a sexual display. While the small range is a concern, and population data on the species is scant, there do not appear to be immediate threats; the IUCN classifies it as a species of least concern.

An altogether amazing bird.

For more bird photographs, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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