Groove-billed Toucanet Aulacorhynchus sulcatus

Colombian name: Tucancito Verde
Groove-billed Toucanet, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia, April 2012 - click for larger image Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
April 2012

The Groove-billed Toucanet is distributed in the coastal mountains and Andes of Venezuela as well as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. See the distribution map at NatureServe. It is found in humid forest and at forest edges at between 600 and 2,000 metres.

There are significant differences in bill colouring between this sub-species A. s. calorhynchus of Colombia and north-west Venezuela and the other two sub-species. These have orange and orange-red colouring replacing the yellow seen here. In the past this sub-species has been given full species status but it was found to hybridize with the red-billed races in western Venezuela.

Although this photo is rather poor having been taken in dense mist, it does show the main features that distinguish it from the sympatric (found in the same geographic areas) Emerald Toucanet A. prasinus. Note that the yellow on the bill is more extensive on the upper mandible and extends to both the point and the base of the lower mandible. Other differences are the lack of the chestnut crissum and undertail tips found on the Emerald Toucanet.

The call is a series of notes at about two per second sounding like a duck with a nose cold.

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