Be careful, because you cannot confuse the little green toucan with its relative the emerald toucan. They may have something in common, but at the same time, they are totally different. You want to know why?
Different place of distribution
The green toucan, which in its country of origin is known as a bottle-beak bird and with the scientific name of aulacorhynchus sulcatus, this bird is a type of toucan endemic to Venezuela and lives in forests that are between 1500-1900 meters above sea level.
By Decree, it has become the “Emblematic Bird of the Cacao Municipality”, in the city of Caracas in its country of origin, which shows how much appreciated it is by the locals. It usually inhabits forests that are foggy and on the edge of these. Formerly it was widely used as a pet, although now its acquisition as such is a little more restricted.
And what does it look like?
Its size is quite normal, reaching 35 cm in length and a maximum of 200 grams. The only way to differentiate the male from the female is by size, these being a little smaller than the males.
Its beak, mainly, is black with a wide yellow area at the top and the base outlined in white. The eye area is bare. The tone of their feathers, mainly, is a bright green tone, being a little paler below the crown, which can have a brownish tone and the throat of blue. The tail is brown. Like the emerald toucan, it is mainly green, except around the eyes, which is a light blue hue.
The subspecies that are recognized are:
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus albivitta
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus atrogularis
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus cyanolaemus
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus dimidiatus
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus griseigularis
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus lautus
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus phaeolaemus
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus prasinus
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus virescens
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus volcanius
- Aulacorhynchus prasinus warneri
Few differences exist between the different subspecies. One of the most notable is the color of its beak, which in some may be partially yellow.
Why can’t it be kept as a pet anymore?
This bird is indeed considered to be quite common in some areas where it is found. Although endemic to Venezuela, the species has spread to southern Mexico and throughout Peru. However, it has been considered that it has to be a bird that is protected, due to poaching and the destruction of its habitat. Since 2001, it has received special protection under CITES.
Their diet is composed of fruits and seeds, supplementing the diet with some insects. It is omnivorous, so it is not strange that it can regularly eat eggs and young of other birds in one bite when it does not get fruits or insects.
When it comes to reproducing, it does so in the hollows of the trees, being able to take advantage of those that another bird has left, especially if it has been a woodpecker. When the female lays the eggs, she lays up to four and they are incubated by both parents for two and a half weeks. When the chicks are born, they are left in the care of their parents until they are almost six weeks old.
As a general rule, it is a bird that lives in small flocks, or only with the bird that it has considered its partner. It is very boisterous, repeating a variety of very loud and harsh notes that may not be entirely pleasant to hear.
Although it is not as popular as a pet today as it once was, there are still many breeders who are working with the species to achieve restocking as well as to present it to shows and exhibitions.
Crimson Rumped Toucanet
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