Chestnut Eared Aracaris (Pteroglossus castanotis)
enjoy the widest distribution of any Aracari species and are one
of the most common and easily observed of all the toucans in the
wild. They are a lowland species found throughout western Brasil
north to eastern Colombia and south through eastern Peru to northern
and eastern Bolivia and northern Argentina. They are commonly
seen in close connection with human habitation, visiting small
towns and farms, where we have seen them eating ripe papayas still
on the tree.
The Chestnut-Eared Aracari is the largest of the smaller toucans
weighing an average of 300 grams. It is similar in appearance
to the Black Neck Aracari, except it is larger and more colorful.
The Chestnut Eared has a dark brown beak except for a yellow-orange
stripe running longitudinally along the upper side of the culmen
broadening as it moves forward to the tip, which is entirely dull
yellow. The iris is white (sometimes yellow), and the eyeskin
varies from turquoise to dark gray. The crown is black with the
throat, ears and nape chestnut brown. The back, wings and tail
are olive green and the rump is red. Whereas the Black Neck has
olive thighs, the Chestnut has brown thighs.
Chestnut Eared Aracaris have never been common in captivity in
the U.S., surprisingly so since they are so very common in the
wild. Emerald Forest has been fortunate in acquiring a number
of pairs of Chestnut Eared Aracaris since 2003 and these birds
have proven to be excellent breeders. We have raised a number
of them, most of which have been held back for future breeding
until now and are available to the general bird loving public.
Chestnut Eareds are attractive aviary birds and make wonderful
pets. They are among the two or three most intelligent of the
small toucans, very docile, imprint quickly when handfed as babies
and are easy to teach tricks and to potty train. They enjoy the
company of people, like to be scratched on the head and neck and
will sit and purr contentedly in your lap for hours. Their care
is the same as for all other toucans. They come highly recommended.
First captive breeding: May 27, 1983 by Rod Barth. CITES status: