Curl-crested Aracari Pteroglossus beauharnaesii

  • © Joao Quental JQuental

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.

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© Curtis Marantz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Curl-crested Aracari (Pteroglossus beauharnaesii), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: