Crimson-rumped Toucanet

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The Crimson-rumped Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) is a species of bird in the Ramphastidae family. It is not the only species of Aulacorhynchus toucanet whose rump is red – but it is the only red-rumped member of the genus in northern South America; because of this, it is unlikely to be confused with any other members in its genus.

Its beautiful plumage is overall green (often faintly tinged blue), except for a maroon-red rump and tail-tip. The bill is black and maroon with a white band at the base.

Crimson-rumped Toucanets are fairly common in lowland premontane to montane evergreen forest and secondary growth, also in forest edges and dense thickets, and sometimes in isolated fruit trees in pastures and gardens. It occurs from southwestern Venezuela south to southwestern Ecuador.

It is a noisy, inquisitive, social bird; this species is usually found in pairs or small groups foraging for fruits, palm nuts, invertebrates, bird eggs, small vertebrate and other prey in the forest canopy.

Breeding is usually from January to May, with much singing, calling and chasing until a pair is established at the start of breeding. In most cases the nest is in an old woodpecker hole with rotted wood excavated out. The female does much of the incubating, but the nest is kept clean by both parents. The young develop slowly, with fledging only at 7 weeks. The young probably return to roost with their parents, and may stay together until the next breeding season.

Crimson-rumped Toucanets are fairly common in Ecuador, and you can join us on one of our Nature Travel Birding trips to see these cartoon-like coloured birds and many others in this fascinating South American country.

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