As bird fever began to set in, we identified one bird that we really wanted to capture. The Collared Aracari had become the new target, and although we had spotted it a few times, we had never taken a photo of it.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, after a late breakfast, at 9:00 a.m. October 29 2011, we heard the calls of the Aracari. We quickly grabbed our camera, and spotted a group of them hanging out in a wild grape tree. After patiently waiting for a few minutes, we were able to grab an excellent shot of one enjoying some wild grapes. There were about 7 Aracari’s in total, and they are absolutely magnificent up close.
The Aracari is unmistakeable, but we were still curious to learn more, so we consulted our bird bible, Birds of Belize by H. Lee Jones. According to Birds of Belize, the Aracari is a loud bird, living and hanging out in the midlevels to the sub-canopys in broadleaf forests, and the forest edge. We captured the bird right on the forest edge, during it’s breakfast. The identification of the bird is “black above, with red face and rump, yellow bellow, with red and black patches. Bill black below, warm gray above. The adult has pale yellow eyes and a pupil that appears oddly oblong.” I’d say we have a dead ringer on our hands.
This encounter has surely fed into our bird fever, and our next prized shot is the Keel-billed Toucan. We’ve seen them nesting, but have yet to have the camera ready to go during an encounter. Hopefully next time.