This bird is typical of the Amazon basin and unmistakable thanks to its exceptionally long beak. Its name Nasica comes from Latin and means long nose. Its epithet longirostris derives from the Latin roots longus = long and rostris = peak.
It measures 35 to 36 cm and weighs 78 to 92 g. Both sexes similar. It is a bird with a small head, a long neck, a long and slightly curved beak, a long tail and a slender body. It has yellowish brown to dark brown irises, gray to brown legs and ivory to yellowish gray bill with the base of the lower jaw generally dark. It has a blackish brown crown and nape with a whitish buff streaking; superciliary stria, throat and forehead white; back, rump, tail and wings rufous cinnamon, the latter with dark brown tips of external primaries. It has the chest and sides with blackish marginated white streaks and the rest of the underparts before olive. The young individual is paler underneath with a weakly barred belly and paler and less defined chest striae.
Unmistakable. It is easily distinguished from other species by its long beak and neck, and a slender head.
It is considered a monotypic species.
It is found in the Amazon region and the Orinoco River from Colombia and southern Venezuela to northern Ecuador, eastern Peru, French Guiana, northern Bolivia and the Brazilian Amazon. In Colombia it is found east of the Andes below 500 m above sea level from the Putumayo department through the Caquetá department and south of Meta east to the east of the Vichada department and from there to the south to the Amazon.
It lives mainly in humid jungles and forests on the banks of rivers. It also regularly frequents dryland forests and occasionally gallery forests. It uses forest edges and interiors and less frequently clearings, forest edges and secondary growth forests.
It feeds mainly on arthropods and to a lesser extent on small vertebrates with amphibians and reptiles. Scorpions, cockroaches and crickets have been found in their stomach contents.
In eastern Ecuador, chicks have been recorded in a nest in February and young in January and May in the upper basin of the Orinoco River. The nest was located 4 m high in the cavity of a small tree. Both parents take care of feeding the young. Other aspects of their reproductive biology are unknown.
Stays alone or in pairs and sometimes with mixed flocks. Forages mainly on logs and large branches from the middle vegetation level up to the canopy and sometimes descends into open understory in temporarily flooded forests. It obtains its food by gleaning or exploring tree bark and clusters of epiphytes such as bromeliads with its bill. Sometimes it takes advantage of the passage of legionary ant marches to catch insects through aerial exits. It can be quite aggressive towards other climbers.
Populations south of the Amazon River have significantly longer peaks than those in the north, which is why it has been suggested that they could belong to two different races. Further studies are required to provide clarity in this regard.
State of conservation
At the national and international level, it is classified as a species of least concern.