Saturday, 10 August 2013

Collared aracari

Pteroglossus torquatus

Photo by Ricardo Pasos Enríquez (National Geographic)

Common name:
collared aracari (en); araçari-de-colar (pt); araçari à collier (fr); arasarí acollarado (es); halsbandarassari (de)

Order Piciformes
Family Ramphastidae

This species is found from southern Mexico to northern Colombia and north-western Venezuela.

These birds are 39-41 cm long and weigh 190-275 g.

The collared aracari is mostly found on the mid and upper canopy of tropical rainforests, but also in swamp forests, second growths, plantations and arable land. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

They feed on a wide range of fleshy tree fruits such as palm nuts, figs, snake fingers Cecropia sp. and papaya, but also the eggs and chicks of other birds and insects.

Collared aracaris are monogamous and may mate for life. They breed in January-May and nest in a natural cavity in a tree, or in a large woodpecker nest, 6-30 m above the ground. The female lays 3 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 15-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and also by up to 6 helpers which are most likely siblings from previous broods. They fledge 6 weeks after hatching but continue to live with the family group, which may count up to 15 birds.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The population is suspected to be declining throughout its range as a result of ongoing habitat destruction through deforestation of their rainforest habitats and also hunting, especially for the cage bird trade.

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