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A photo of a Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)
Emerald Toucanet

Emerald Toucanet

Aulacorhynchus prasinus

The Emerald Toucanet, Aulacorhynchus prasinus, is a member of the toucan family, Ramphastidae. This near-passerine bird is adorned with a strikingly large bill and vibrant plumage. Adults range from 29 to 37 cm in length and weigh between 150 to 240 grams. Both sexes are similar in appearance, though females tend to be slightly smaller with shorter bills.

Identification Tips

The Emerald Toucanet's bill is distinctive, with a black mandible and a yellow maxilla featuring a black patch near the nares. A white vertical strip graces the base of the bill. The plumage is predominantly green, lighter below than above, with a bronze-tinted crown and a yellowy bronze nape and upper back. The eye is dark brown, set in even darker bare skin. The lower face and throat are white, flanks are bright yellow-green, and the undertail coverts and underside of the tail are chestnut. The tail feathers transition from green at the base to blue and end with chestnut tips.

Habitat

The Emerald Toucanet inhabits humid montane forests but can also be found in secondary forests, shrublands, pastures, and plantations.

Distribution

This species is distributed from Mexico to Nicaragua, with various subspecies occupying specific regions within this range.

Behaviour

Emerald Toucanets are gregarious birds, often seen in groups of up to 10 individuals. They are non-migratory and exhibit a playful and interactive nature when in captivity.

Song & Calls

The call of the Emerald Toucanet is a nasal, barking "Wok!-Wok!-Wok!…" series, and it also produces a growling, throaty "wra'a'a'a'a'a'ak".

Breeding

Breeding season spans from March to July. Nesting occurs in tree cavities, with clutch sizes ranging from one to five eggs. Both parents incubate, with the female taking on a greater share. Incubation lasts 16 days, and fledging occurs 42 to 45 days post-hatching.

Similar Species

Similar species include other toucanets in the genus Aulacorhynchus, which can be differentiated by variations in plumage and size.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Emerald Toucanet is eclectic, consisting of a wide variety of fruits, invertebrates, and vertebrate prey such as small birds, eggs, lizards, and snakes.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Emerald Toucanet as Least Concern, with a very large range but an unknown and possibly decreasing population size. Habitat destruction poses a vulnerability to the species.

Relationship to humans

Aviculture

The Emerald Toucanet is a favored pet, known for its affectionate demeanor when hand-fed. It requires a spacious cage and a high-fruit diet to prevent diseases related to excessive iron storage.

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