Pteroglossus beauharnaesii (Curl-crested Aracari)

The Curl-crested Aracari is one of the more spectacularly plumaged aracari, and one of the more stranger looking birds. Unlike any other aracari, or any other bird, it has modified head feathers that resemble shiny black pieces of plastic. It is from these modified feathers that this species gets its name. It is restricted to lowland terra firme forest of western Amazonia in southern Peru (south of the Amazon), western Brazil, and northern Bolivia. apart from the bizarre head ornamentation, the Curl-crested Aracari is a quite pretty toucan, with a red back, yellow underparts with a single red breast ban, and a quite ornately patterned, multicolored bill.

It overlaps in terra firme forest with both Lettered Aracari (Pteroglossus inscriptus) and Ivory-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus azara), both of which have different underpart and bill patterns, the two features important in identifying aracaris. It is more similar to Chestnut-eared Aracari (Pteroglossus castanotis), which also has yellow underparts with a single red breast band. Chestnut-eared differs by having a dark brown, as oppose to yellow throat, a mostly dark bill, and is found more in riverine habitats, as opposed to terra firme forest. Calls very different from other aracaris, a loud rising “eeee-yak.” Moves in small groups through the canopy, foraging in fruiting trees.

They nest in trees with appropriate hollows, most of which are previously made by woodpeckers. Other hollows are the result of a branch break and ensuing rotting of the heart wood from rain over a period of time.
Both the male and female share the incubation and chick rearing duties. Their eggs are white and elliptical shaped. The clutch size consists of 3 to 4 eggs and the incubation lasts for about 16 days.
The newly hatched chicks are blind and naked with short bills and thick pads on their heels to protect them from the rough floor of the nest. Both parents, as well as their previous offspring and/or possibly other adults, feed the chicks.
The young fledge after about 6 weeks. The adults continue to feed them for several weeks after fledging.

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

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