Family Toucans (Ramphastidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-eared Toucanet (Selenidera spectabilis)


French: Toucanet à oreilles d’or German: Gelbohrarassari Spanish: Tucanete orejigualdo

Selenidera spectabilis


, 1858,

Cucuyos de Veragua, Panama


Distinctive within genus; not very closely related to S. piperivora, but these two have sometimes been included in the probable species-group centred on S. maculirostris (which see), although they differ in voice and displays. Monotypic.


NE Honduras S, locally, to NW & CW Colombia and extreme NW Ecuador (Esmeraldas).

Descriptive notes

36–38 cm; 175–245 g. Largest, most distinctive of its genus. Male with black cap to hindneck, with yellow ear-tuft, green back and uppertail-coverts, and blackish... read more


Song a short to long series normally of double notes, “tik-ett”, often with associated... read more


Wet forested slopes and ridges in lowlands; also forest edges, adjacent secondary forest, and fruit... read more

Food and feeding

Few observations. Diet of fruits, many arillate, such as those of Dendropanax, Guateria, Hampea and Protium... read more


Apr–Aug generally; perhaps earlier in Honduras, as early as Feb in Colombia, possibly earlier still in Ecuador. Singing bird bows and... read more


Downslope post-breeding movement into lowlands known to occur in Costa Rica and Panama, sometimes... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common in N of range. Appears to have decreased in Costa Rica, where habitat continuity possibly essential for it to... read more

Recommended citation

Short, L.L. (2020). Yellow-eared Toucanet (Selenidera spectabilis). 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 25 February 2020).