I am giving this bird it’s own post as it was one of the prettiest and most entertaining birds that I met during my visit to Costa Rica. Here is a bit of background:
- The aracari is part of the family of birds that includes toucans, and toucanets – there are about 40 different species.
- Toucans live in tropical and sub-tropical jungle regions and are native to southern Mexico, Central America, Northern South America and the Caribbean.
- Most recognizable feature of the toucans is its large colorful bill which averages 8 inches in length.
- The bill is very light and is made of keratin like human hair.
- It is said the bill is large in order to keep the bird cool in hot climates. Vessels flow blood close to the surface of the beak, where the air cools it down.
- Being so light the bill is not very strong and can’t be used for digging or fighting
- The toucan is not a very good flyer as its wings are small relative to its bill and body
- Toucans mainly eat fruit supplanted by insects and small lizards.
- Toucans live together in small flocks
- They are distant cousins to the woodpecker.
- They live for up to 20 years.
Before I share with you more photos of the aracaris that made my acquaintance let me show you some of their cousins – pics from the internet:
The most familiar of the family is the keel-billed toucan. His little blue feet remind of the the blue footed boobies of the Galapagos:
There are also mini-version – here are two toucanets:
Here are the two aracari that set up shop right outside my lodge in Tortuguero with an extra friend or two:
Watching these two maneuver berries so they would slide down their throats is amazing:
I’d like to think these aracari liked my company as they came back every day to my lodge – but to be honest I think they were more interested in the plentiful berries. But that is okay!