Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

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South America
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Shared by : Razaan ABAKAR (Sudan)
Region : South America
Status : LC (Least Concern)
Introduction
Ramphastos sulfuratus is a large (about 20 inches or 52 cm long) colorful bird, and has a bill that can grow to be up to one-third the size of its body (Enchantedlearning, 1999). The large banana-shaped bill is the most distinguishing feature of R. sulferatus, and is surprisingly lightweight for its size (Kricher, 1989). The light weight of the keratin-composed bill is due to its hollow, bone-reinforced construction (Kricher, 1989 Enchantedlearning, 1999 Thurman, 1999). The bill is edged with tooth-like ridges. Housed within the bill is a long, narrow, feather-like tongue. The body of R. sulfuratus is black, and it has a bright yellow bib and cheeks. Its rump is white, and the undertail coverts are a brilliant red. The area directly around the eyes is bare, showing the pale blue skin underneath. Its bill, which takes up the entire front of its head, is green, with a bright orange blaze on the side, red on the tip of the upper mandible, and blue on the tip of the lower mandible. Males and females share the same coloration and large bill, the only difference being that the male is slightly larger than the female. Ramphastos sulfuratus has blue legs and its toes are arranged in the zygodactyl pattern (with two toes forward and two toes back).

Ramphastos sulfuratus nests in natural or woodpecker made tree cavities and lay clutches of 2 to 4 white glossy eggs. They can have up to 2 or 3 broods in a year. Both parents share the responsibility of incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks once they hatch. The altricial chicks hatch after 16 to 20 days of incubation. They remain in the nest for 8 to 9 weeks so that their beaks may fully form. Ramphastos sulfuratus travels in flocks of 6 to 12 adults. The flocks roost in holes of tree trunks, sometimes with several birds crowding into one hole. Since the tree cavities aren't always very roomy, the species must conserve space. It does so by folding its tail up over its back and tucking its beak beneath its wing when it roosts. Ramphastos sulfuratus is a social feeder as well. The flocks travel together from tree to tree in loose strings of birds.

Source:
http://animaldiversity.org

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