Birds of Costa Rica
Toucans and Aracaris
Toucans only inhabit the tropical regions of America. There are 42 neotropical toucan species and Costa Rica harbors six. The large beak of the toucan is very lightweight and used to obtain food. Their main diet consists of fruits, mainly berries. Toucans nest in cavities in the trunks of trees, mostly using an old woodpecker hole.
On the Nicoya Peninsula the only member of the toucan family you will encounter is the Fiery-billed Aracari. A similar species, the Collared Aracari is only found on the Carribean side of Costa Rica.
Aracaris are smaller than toucans and have more slender beaks. Bands of up to 10 birds roam through the upper levels of forests in search of fruits and insects.
The best known of the toucan family is the Keel billed Toucan with his rainbow colored beak. Still larger is his similarly colored cousin, the Chestnut mandibled Toucan whose beak is yellow brown. The much smaller Emeral Toucanet lives in higher altitudes, mainly in the Talamanca mountains.
Keel billed Toucan