Curl-crested Aracari

Curl-crested Aracari

Scientific Name:   Pteroglossus beauharnaesii
Origin: Amazon
Average Lifespan:  16 – 18 years
Size:     16 to 18 inches
Color:   Multi-colored
Sounds:   Generally Quiet
Interaction:   Very Social

Curl-crested Aracari

Photo: Heather Paul | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Curl-crested Aracari

The Curl-crested Aracari is one of the most beautifully multi-colored birds with a glossy plumage and curled feathers on its crown.  The bare skin on its face around the eyes is blue.  The whitish-yellow feathers on its face have hardened black tips.  Its underparts are yellowish brown with a single red band on the breast and an elaborate pattern on its multi-colored bill.  It has a long tail which varies in color ranging from dark green, red, brownish yellow and black.

The bill of the female Curl-crested is shorter than that of the male. The female also has a smaller body compared to its counterpart.  This breed is considered as the most colourful of the three toucan species as it is the only one which has red feathers on the back and shoulders which makes it more unique and more attractive.  Most bird enthusiasts qualify this bird species as the most exquisite looking bird because of the presence of unique feathers on its head that resemble pieces of shiny and curly black plastic, thus the name Curl-crested Aracari.

Personality and Temperament

The Curl-crested Aracari is an exquisitely beautiful bird that is friendly and sociable, making it a fantastic pet.  In its natural habitat, it makes its nest in abandoned tree hollows which are usually made by woodpeckers.  It lays three to four eggs which it incubates for about 16 days.  Both parents care for their young and attend to their duties diligently.  When they are born, the chicks are blind and have no hair at all.  After a month and a half, the chicks start to have feathers and also start learning how to fly with the guidance of their parents.  It is a social bird which roost in groups of five or more, if not with its partner.

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In captivity, owners will be delighted with this wonderful pet as it is highly intelligent and sociable at the same time.  It easily learns to recognize sounds.  At first, it is quiet and subdued, but when it becomes accustomed to its surroundings, it will open up and would constantly seek attention from human.  However, there is no record that it can learn to talk or imitate the sounds it hears from its environment as compared to other species of parrots.   Generally, it only makes quiet sounds, but just like any other bird species, it would make loud noises especially when agitated or excited.

Health and Care

Like most of the bird species, the Curl-crested Aracari is very active and needs a lot of space to explore, play and fly around.  Thus, it is important that the owners provide it with a roomy cage which can be placed either inside of the house or in the veranda or garden.  It also requires a lot of entertainment, so owners may want to provide it with chewable toys. If it is placed outside, make sure that the cage is placed in a shady area.  It is also important to note that the bird should be protected from the sun and rain.

This species is primarily a frugivore, which means that its main diet consists of fruits.  In the wild, it primarily feeds on fruits, thus, in captivity, it should also be provided with the same.  In can be fed with eggs and nestlings in addition to its main diet of fruits.

History and Background

In the wild, the Curl-crested Aracari is restricted to the south-western section of the Amazon Basin, specifically in southern Peru, south of the Amazon, western Brazil and northern Bolivia.  Its natural habitat is the moist tropical lowland forests. It was generally rated as a rare bird species, if not extinct.  Fortunately, due to the relentless effort of scientists and bird enthusiasts, this breed has increased in number both in the wild and in captivity.  In effect, bird collectors can now easily acquire this bird species as an addition to their collection of exquisite birds.

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