16 Fascinating Toucan Facts

We wish to share with you some interesting facts about toucans. They’re written for kids and adults!

Toucans are birds with a lot of popularity among people of all ages. More than 40 species of toucans populate our planet. These colorful creatures live in tropical rainforests, shrubland, savannas, and jungles in both Central and South America.

Because there are so many species of toucans, their weight and size are very different. The weight of the largest species, the Toco Toucan, is 1.5 pounds (680 grams). This bird can reach 29 inches (which is 63 in centimeters).

keel-billed-toucan

Keel billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

The smallest species is called The Lettered Aracari (Pteroglossus inscriptus); its size is 11.5 inches (or 29 centimeters. The Aracari weighs 4.6 ounces (130 grams). The Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) is the star of this post, so here are some facts about it:

  1. It’s not a solitary bird. This species likes to live flocks. A flock can contain 5 – 6 birds;
  2. The diet of a Toco toucan is made up of a lot of things. This makes it an omnivore bird. Its main diet consists of the following: fruit. Apart from that, toco toucans also feed on these: nuts, insects, small animals (such as rodents and more), bird eggs, and other birds. They’re also known to consume reptiles now and then;
  3. The appearance of a toucan is very striking. In particular, its markings. The latter are very colorful. These also provide a means of camouflage when danger is close by. A Toco toucan has 4 claws. 2 are on the back of its legs; the other 2 are situated on the front. These claws are very useful; with them, the bird can hold onto branches without falling down;
  4. The wings of a toucan are small. Because of this, the bird isn’t able to fly over long distances. Instead of this, a toucan will just hop around. Food is obtained after a very short flight. The beak of Toco a toucan is better known as a “bill”. It is, in fact, what makes these birds instantly recognizable due to its length and orange color;

    Toco-toucan

    Toco toucan (Ramphastos toco)

  5. This bill is larger than the bird’s body. And you may think it’s heavy to carry that thing around; it isn’t. A toucan’s bill weighs very little. The material it’s made of is keratin;
  6. There are many purposes to this bill. The most important one: it gives toucans easy access to food. With it, they can both grab and peel various fruit. The second kind of help is this: a bill offers a heat regulating system. When it gets too hot, a bill’s arteries will broaden and discharge excess heat. Despite its size, the bill doesn’t work as a powerful weapon when a predator’s near. But smaller animals will stay away from the toucan;
  7. A toucan female lays 1 – 5 eggs a year. Each egg is cared for by both the female and the male. A chick will come out of the egg after almost 20 days. Baby toucans are really small when they hatch. It takes them many months to reach full size. The baby is protected against danger by both of its parents. Also, the chick’s home is a nest built in tree hollows. In fact the toucan parents don’t make this nest on their own; instead, they use one which has already been created by another bird (usually, a woodpecker);
  8. The beak of an offspring is as small as its body. It will reach its notable full size in a couple of months. Then, the beak will be 7.5 – 8. inches (19 centimeters);
  9. Toucans have natural predators and enemies. They’re mostly large wild cats which are living in its habitat, such as jaguars. A toucan’s eggs are an excellent food source for these: rodents and snakes.

How about some more interesting facts about these beautiful birds:

  • a toucan sleeps with its beak rested on its back and the tail is folded over its head (this keeps the bird warm if the weather’s much too cold);
  • the Fruit Loops cereal brand uses a toucan as its mascot;
  • the Toco toucans are not yet an endangered bird species;
  • these birds may be fascinating, but they are very noisy;
  • a toucan’s Latin name is Ramphastos sulfuratus;
  • another interesting fact is that in Indigenous cultures across South America, a toucan connects the dead and the living;
  • toucans can live up to 20 years in the wild.

Toucans are great, aren’t they? Let us know if they’re among your favorite birds or not!

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