The curl-crested araçari can be identified from other araçaris by its more diffuse facial patterns, yellow underparts with a single red breast band and ornately-patterned, multicolored bill.
The curl-crested araçari is one of the more spectacularly plumaged araçari and one of the more stranger looking birds. This species is often considered to be exquisitely beautiful and the most attractive and colorful of the smaller toucans.
Apart from the bizarre head ornamentation, the curl-crested araçari is a quite pretty toucan, with a red back, gray crown, and yellow breast. The underparts contain increasing red blotches and a single red and black breast band. The upperparts are dark green with a dark red mantle and rump. The bare skin around the eyes is blue and the whitish-yellow facial feathers have hardened black tips. The ornately-patterned, multicolored bill has a blue and maroon upper bill, ivory lower bill, and an orange tip. The bill of the female is shorter than the male’s.
The tail is relatively long, compared to other toucans, and varies in color but has a greenish-bronze dominant color.
The curl-crested araçari has more diffuse facial patterns than other araçaris. It also has different underparts and bill patterns from the lettered araçari (Pteroglossus inscriptus) and ivory-billed araçari (Pteroglossus azara), two features that are important in identifying aracaris. It is more similar to chestnut-eared araçari (Pteroglossus castanotis), which also has yellow underparts with a single red breast band. Chestnut-eared differs by having a dark brown, as opposed to yellow throat, a mostly dark bill, and is found more in riverine habitats, as opposed to terra firme forest.
• Image | © Valerie, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Dallas World Aquarium, 2019; deGraauw, 2001; eBird, 2019; Johnson, 2011; Schulenberg, 2019; Short & Bonan, 2019; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)