Name: “Pteroglossus frantzii”, but everyone calls me “fiery-billed araçari”. Spell it with the accent if you want to impress me.
Looking for: Another fiery-billed araçari. Also wouldn’t mind a collared araçari. Must be in the western Costa Rica to western Panama area.
Absolutely no song birds or woodpeckers!
Your likes: Soft fruits, insects, tall trees and making a racket with my best friends and family. We’re pretty inseparable!
I also love sunbathing. I do it with my head upside down, bill wide open and wings far apart. Everyone either laughs or thinks I died horribly.
Your dislikes: Song birds and woodpeckers. They get all the best houses.
Their babies taste nice though.
Something you like about yourself: I have bright breast feathers like a cheery ice lolly. I eat really healthy food, and I would take very good care of my mate and family. I’m also very upbeat!
And something you dislike? I’m not bothered, but other birds laugh at my enormous red and yellow bill. They say it makes me fly funny! It’s not heavy enough though, it’s only a bit of light bone and something called keratin. At least it scares the hawks.
Tell us something surprising about you: I look like I would squawk like a parrot. But I have a squeaky call like new trainers on a polished floor. Whatever that means.
Your idea of a romantic evening: Alone in the treetops with my love, tapping my bill against the trunk, tossing yummy food back and forth, or watching him gallantly duel with other males.
Your dream holiday: Eugh, no way, I like staying at home. I know where everything is in the canopy, and all my friends and family are here!
And your dream home? A nice tree cavity, anywhere between 20-100ft high, in a lush lowland forest.
Do you plan to have children someday? Yes, probably 1 or 2. I want someone to share baby-sitting duties with me and my closest friends. And help turf those annoying woodpeckers out of their nests.
Relationship history: I’m newly single and looking to start again. My last mate was on the rebound. He and his ex grew up in a zoo, and when they got together, he loved her so much he started dive-bombing the humans to keep them away. I thought that was really romantic, especially when it got him kicked out! Then I realised he couldn’t do anything for himself. I got fed up with him in the end.
Tell us a joke: What do you call a tree cavity full of baby song birds?
Was that too dark? Okay, how about:
“Toucan play at that game”.
Latin: Pteroglossus frantzii
What? Brightly coloured tropical bird with a long bill
Where? Western Costa Rica and Panama, in wet lowland forests
How big? 45 cm / 17 inches long
Endangered? Nope, currently Least Concern, although its habitat is under threat.
Probable motto: Love birds? To eat or date? Either way, give me a call!
They look beautiful. Do they need my help at all?
For once a rainforest bird with a restricted range isn’t considered endangered, but of course its home could always use some love!
Rainforest Foundation US looks out for Panama’s rainforests. As for Costa Rica, it’s an awesome example of rainforest and biodiversity conservation, although there’s still work to be done via organisations like Conservation International.
Just to prove I’m not fibbing:
BirdLife International 2016. “Pteroglossus frantzii“. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. No date. “Toucan“. Britannica.com.
“Fiery-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii)”. No date. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
“Fiery-billed Aracari“. No date. Oiseaux.net.
“Fiery-billed aracari, Pteroglossus frantzii“. No date. Dallas World Aquarium.
“The Fiery-billed Aracari of Costa Rica”. 2015. Monkey Tours Costa Rica.
Lindholm, Josef III. No date. “The Aracaris“. Dallas World Aquarium.
Short, L.L. 2019. “Fiery-billed Araçari (Pteroglossus frantzii)“. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions
“Toucan facts and information“. 2012. BioExpedition.
Featured image credit: “Fiery-billed Aracari – Pteroglossus frantzii is a toucan, a near-passerine bird” by phototrip.