Saffron toucanet

Baillonius hailloni

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Toucan de baillon; German: Goldtukan; Spanish: Tucán Amarillo.

TAXONOMY

Baillonius hailloni Vieillot, 1819. The saffron toucanet is the sole representative of the genus Baillonius, which is the only monotypic ramphastid genus. Peters (1934-1986) groups this species with the genus Andigena.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

A medium-sized toucanet, about 10 in (35 cm) long. Average weight 5.7 oz (163 g). In the field, the only toucanet to appear mostly yellow; bill is red and green. Eye is yellow and surrounded by red skin.

DISTRIBUTION

This species is limited to the south Atlantic forests of eastern Paraguay, southestern Brazil, and northeastern Argentina.

HABITAT

Not well known. This species ranges from lowland tropical evergreen forest up to 5,100 ft (1,550 m) in lower montane forest.

BEHAVIOR

Calls are similar to those of aracaris Pteroglossus. Described as silent and secretive in its habits.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Has been seen eating figs, palmito fruits, and Cecropia fruits, but feeding ecology not well known. Captive birds hold fruits with feet while breaking into smaller pieces. Remsen et al. examined stomach contents of five specimens and found only fruit, no arthropods or small vertebrates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Little is known. Courtship feeding and allopreening occur. Nests in tree cavities; male and female sometimes drum like woodpeckers near the nest entrance.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened due to habitat loss, capture for the cage bird industry, and to some degree hunting. Habitat destruction is mostly a consequence of agrarian conversion.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Sometimes hunted for meat. ♦

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