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Black Neck

(Pteroglossus aracari)

Black Neck Aracari (Pteroglossus aracari) is one of the larger toucanets weighing in at 180 grams. It is approximately thirteen inches in length, with a beak measuring as long as four inches. It is a native of Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Surinam. In the 1980’s it was imported in small numbers from Guyana and Surinam.

Black Neck Aracari (Pteroglossus aracari) – Jerry Jennings’ Emerald Forest Bird Gardens

The Black Neck is fairly common in captivity, and is usually readily available and kept both as an aviary bird and as a pet. It is a hardy species and easily managed.

Aviculture: Outdoor flights should be at least 4′ x 8′ x 4′ for aracaris (Even larger flights should be used if possible!).

Aracaris are quite docile compared to the larger toucans, and can more readily be housed with small birds in a planted aviary, though again not with finch sized birds.

Aracaris are frugivorous birds, whose primary diet is fruit. In the wild they consume fruits from as many as 100 species of plants and trees. They also consume a variety of insects for protein, especially during their nesting cycle.

They MUST be fed FRESH fruit every day! The fruit diet should also be supplemented with a low iron protein source (such as Mazuri Low Iron Softbill diet by Purina Mills).

Toucans are not as difficult to breed as often thought and must be housed alone in pairs, preferably following the size enclosures mentioned above under housing. While they will breed in boxes, with a concave bottom, they are far more likely to breed if they are provided with a “natural” nest, constructed from a palm tree log. Logs allow these birds to continually dig their nest chamber deeper, which helps them cement the pair bond.

All Ramphastids lay pure white, elliptical shaped eggs, usually 3-4 per clutch. Incubation for all species lasts 16 days, and young fledge the nest at 40-42 days.

First captive breeding: June 4, 1987; Dick Muench.

CITES status: Appendix II.