Family Toucans (Ramphastidae)

Least Concern

Ivory-billed Araçari (Pteroglossus azara)


French: Araçari de d’Azara German: Rotkropfarassari Spanish: Arasarí de Azara

Ramphastos Azara


, 1819,



Thought unlikely to be related directly to any of the P. torquatus group (which see); recent genetic data indicate that this species is closer to P. castanotis and P. pluricinctus than to P. aracari#R#R. Races flavirostris and mariae have been and are recently again considered to constitute two separate species#R, but characters distinguishing them (distribution of dark markings on the bill) insufficient in number to achieve species rank even with the addition of scores for hybrid zones (both of these and nominate race interbreed wherever they meet#R: mariae with nominate and flavirostris along Amazon, and with flavirostris also in N Peru; flavirostris interbreeds also with nominate on upper R Negro); remarkably, “no appreciable differences among the races in measurements or weight”#R. Race mariae has hybridized with P. humboldti in W Brazil (R Juruá), and hybrid was originally thought to be a distinct species under the name “P. olallae”. Present species, as constituted herein, has sometimes erroneously been named P. flavirostris, apparently owing to confusion over priority. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. flavirostris Fraser, 1841 – Yellow-billed Araçari – SE Colombia, S Venezuela and NW Brazil (W of upper R Negro, S to N bank of R Solimões) to E Ecuador and NE Peru.
  • P. a. azara (Vieillot, 1819) – Ivory-billed Araçari – Brazil in Amazonas, between W bank of R Negro and N bank of R Solimões-Amazon.
  • P. a. mariae Gould, 1854 – Brown-mandibled Araçari – S of Amazon, from E Peru and W Brazil (E to R Madeira) S to C Bolivia.
  • Descriptive notes

    36–45 cm; 100–200 g, mainly 120–160 g. Typical banded araçari, small and with long, mostly yellow or cream bill. Male nominate race has black cap,... read more


    Possible song a series of 2–6 wailing “twaaa-a-a” or “tweee-ee” or... read more


    Inhabits seasonally flooded as well as terra firme wet forest, in lowlands and up to lower... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on fruits of Ficus, Cecropia, Ocotea, Pagainea and others; has also been observed flycatching,... read more


    Data from specimens indicate breeding season of Dec–May in NE of range, Feb–Aug in W & SW. Courtship feeding observed in... read more


    Probably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in Colombia and Peru, but uncommon in Ecuador. Recorded density c. 2 pairs/100 ha in optimum habitats. Occurs in Cuyabeno Reserve,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. (2020). Ivory-billed Araçari (Pteroglossus azara). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).