Green aracaris have dark green feathers on their backs, throughout their wings and into their tails. They are sexually dimorphic birds, meaning males and females exhibit some differences in appearance. The male aracari's neck and head feathers are very dark, whereas the female aracari has dark red to brown coloration. These birds have a brightly colored red, yellow and blue bill with a unique serrated edge. Their bill is more deliberately hooked at the end than the bill of other aracaris.
Green aracaris inhabit tropical forests in northeast South America, specifically Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.
These birds spend the majority of their time living in small groups in the tree canopy and levels below where they forage together for food. They vocalize during mating rituals and to warn of danger.
Green aracaris eat fruits, insects, nuts, eggs and small animals. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they receive a balanced diet of bird pellets, fruit and cooked sweet potatoes.
Rather than excavating its own hole to build a nest, the green aracari will take over an abandoned woodpecker hole. These existing nesting spots are usually high up in trees. The female will lay two to four eggs and incubate them for 16 to 19 days. Chicks fledge, or develop the feathers they need to fly, about five weeks after hatching. However, the parents will continue to feed the chicks until they are around 6 to 8 weeks old.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified green aracaris as a species of least concern on the Red List, as of a 2016 analysis. The IUCN notes that there has been a decline in green aracari populations, but it is not severe enough to warrant a status change to "vulnerable" on the Red List. Green aracaris are also listed under CITES Appendix II and are managed under a Species Survival Plan within institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Green aracaris are threatened by habitat destruction, due to deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
You Can Help
- Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle. Whenever possible, keep trash from going to a landfill by finding another purpose for it.
- Buy sustainably harvested products to reduce the negative impact your purchases may have on the environment. Look at labels to determine where a product came from and to learn more about the company who makes it.
- Share what you have learned about green aracaris with others. Sharing your curiosity and new information can help to build a better connection to the natural world and strengthen the commitment to protect it.
One male green aracari is on exhibit in the Small Mammal House. Two female aracaris can also be found in the Amazonia rainforest.