Toco toucan

Toucan

Colorful characters

Type

blue jay

Birds

Area

Map highlighting Central America

Central America

Endangered Status

Some Endangered

facts

size
12 to 24
inches, adult bird's height
A soccer ball is 9 inches high.
Toucan compared in size to a soccer ball
food
fruit, more
Omnivore
Omnivore

A toucan's diet "can" include many things such as fruit, insects, other birds' eggs, tree frogs, lizards, and fish.

habitat
rain forest
rainforest habitat leaves

description

Curl-crested aracari eating a grape

Toucan? They can!

Toucans are important for rain forest health and diversity in their habitats in Central and South America. These birds pass seeds from the fruit they eat through their digestive systems, which helps replant the plants.

Closeup on a Toco toucan's bill

Useful bills

The toucan's bill is also a big deal. Some say that the large and brightly colored bill is used to attract potential mates. Others suggest it is useful in scaring away predators or animals that might compete with the toucan for food. Toucans are known to reach deep into tree cavities to grab eggs from other birds or to dig deeply into their own nesting cavities to clear them out, and pairs have been seen tossing fruit to one another in a courtship ritual. No matter what purpose you decide on, the toucan’s bill is a very useful tool!

Toco toucan parent with chick in tree

National treasure

The rainbow-billed toucan is the national bird of Belize. While often compared to hornbills, toucans are actually close relatives of the woodpecker! Toucans spend their lives high in the rain forest canopy—seldom making trips to the forest floor—and nest in hollowed-out tree cavities.

quiz

A toucan's beak is:
light
heavy