Pale-mandibled Aracaris

The Pale-mandibled Aracari (Pteroglossus erythropygius) is sometimes classified as a subspecies of the Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) whom it resembles except for some differences in the beak and chest coloration.

Distribution / Range

It is endemic to the South American countries of Ecuador and northwestern Peru, where it inhabits the humid forest of the Tumbes region, up to 800 m.

Aracaris generally roost socially throughout the year. Up to five adults and their fledged offspring sleep in the same hole with their long tails folded over their backs.


The Pale-mandibled Aracari is one of the larger aracaris, averaging 16 – 17 inches (40.5 – 43 cm) in length (including the long tail).

Its beak is mostly a pale ivory-orange with a long black stripe down the edge of the upper bill.

The skin around the eyes is red.

It has a black spot on the center of the upper breast.

Similar species:

  • The Pale-mandibled Aracari has a black horizontal stripe on the lower chest, while the Collared Aracari has a mostly red stripe.
  • The Pale-mandibled Aracari’s skin around the eyes is red, while the Many-banded Aracari‘s is blue. The Pale-mandibled Aracari has a large black spot on the center of its chest, while the Many-banded Aracari has a band across the breast.
Pale-mandibled Aracari (Pteroglossus erythropygius)


They typically nest in abandoned woodpecker nesting holes, or other tree cavities.

Both the male and female share the incubation and chick rearing duties.

Their eggs are white and elliptical shaped. The clutch size consists of 3 to 4 eggs and the incubation lasts for about 16 days.

The newly hatched chicks are blind and naked, with short bills and thick pads on their heels to protect them from the rough floor of the nest. Both parents, as well as their previous offspring and/or possibly other adults, feed the chicks.

The young fledge after about 6 weeks. The adults continue to feed them for several weeks after fledging.


Once common in captivity, the Pale-mandibled Aracari is now rare in the United States. Its numbers are less than 6 kept in just two collections.

These active Aracaris require large, planted flights. Aracaris are generally docile and can be kept with smaller birds — but not birds so small that they could be considered as prey by these large birds, such as finches. Breeding pairs are best kept alone.

Captive birds may breed in nest boxes with a concave bottom; however, they generally prefer natural nests constructed from palm tree logs, which allows them to dig their nest chambers deeper.

Pale-mandibled Aracaris (Pteroglossus erythropygius)

Toucanets and Aracaris all require the same space. The smallest breeding flight I have used was 4′ x 10′ x 6 feet high and the flights I currently use are 8′ x 12′ x 8 feet high and the newest flights are 8′ x 16′ x 8 feet high.

They need the proper diet, a nest log and the pairs must be compatible.

I would start with the easiest, so when you have babies you will feel a sense of accomplishment and want to continue. If you start with a difficult species you will have much less luck and may become discouraged.” (Source: Jerry Jennings, President / Director of Emerald Forest Bird Gardens)

Jerry Jennings, President / Director of Emerald Forest Bird Gardens

Calls / Vocalizations

Their calls sound like high, rusty whistles: “teeeee-sik

Aracaris InformationToucan InformationPhotos of the Different Toucan Species for Identification
Pale-mandibled Aracaris (Pteroglossus erythropygius)
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