Curl Crested Aracari (Pteroglossus beauharnaesii) is a very curious looking bird, thanks to the extraordinary feathers on the crown, which are curled up like gift wrap ribbon. They are very glossy and have the look and feel of plastic or patten leather. Further, the whitish yellow facial feathers have black tips that are larger than the surrounding feather shaft. In addition, they are one of only three toucan species with red on the nape and shoulders, giving them an awesome appearance up close. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we won’t attempt to verbally describe them. Their rainbow of colors make them far and away the most attractive of all the small toucans, and in some opinions the most attractive of any toucan.

Curl Crested Aracaris are commonly encountered in central and southern Brasil as far east as the mouth of the Madeira River and westward to the lowland forests of eastern Peru and south into northern Bolivia. They are inhabitants and an indicator species of primary rainforest at slightly higher elevations enjoyed by other Aracari species.

Until very recently the only know specimens of Curl Crested Aracaris in captivity in the U.S. were at the San Diego Zoo, where they have been successfully reproduced on a limited basis. Some of the San Diego offspring have ended up at the Dallas World Aquarium (which has since received Curls Crested from Emerald Forest) and at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina.

In 2004 Emerald Forest Bird Gardens began receiving Curl Crested Aracaris for breeding and has a dozen pair set up. Both adult birds and their offspring are now available for the avicultural connoisseur.

Curl Crested Aracaris, at an average weight of 210 grams, are tied with Black Neck Aracaris for the number two position in size after the Chestnut Eared Aracari. Curl Cresteds are exquisitely beautiful and peaceful additions to the mixed species aviary and their friendly disposition makes them fantastic pets. As handfed babies, they readily imprint on their human companions and quickly bond. They are curious, inquisitive and playful and a delight both in appearance and personality. They are easily trained to potty in the appropriate place as well as do a number of unique bird tricks.

Curl Crested Aracaris are not listed on CITES