The Curl-crested Aracari by KenG ()
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The first time I saw the curl-crested aracai, I knew I had to create a digital version of the bird. The "Little Richard" style moptop is just too cool.
Aracais belong to the Toucan family. They are found in the southwestern section of the Amazon Basin, with the Amazon River being its northern range limit. Near the Amazon River, its range extends east to about the Madeira River, while the southern half of its range extends east to around the Xingu River. It is overall rare to uncommon, but regularly seen at several localities, including the Tambopata-Candamo reserve in Peru, the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park in Bolivia, and the Cristalino State Park near Alta Floresta in Brazil.
Its natural habitat is tropical moist lowland forests, forest edges and clearings where it feeds mainly on fruit. It will also eat insects, frogs, lizards, bird eggs and nestlings. They seem particularly fond of attacking Yellow-rumped Cacique (Cacicus cela) nests.
Aracaris generally roost socially throughout the year. Up to five adults and their fledged offspring sleep in the same hole with their long tails folded over their backs.
Rendered in Poser Pro 2012 without postwork. Model Credits: Enchanted Forest (Stonemason), Perching Branch and Curl-crested Aracari (Toucans 1&2 - Me)