Toucan Facts and Information

Introduction to Toucan

There are over 40 species of the Toucan, and they range in size from 5 to 20 ounces. They can be up to29 inches long. The one that most people are familiar with is Toucan Sam who is the character for the Fruit Loops cereal commercials. This colorful bird is also a common one well respected in various cultures as it is believed to be sent to them from the gods.

Toucan Description

The bill of the Toucan is very colorful and that is a distinction that sets it apart from other types of birds. They bill can be over half of the body size. The look of it is one that makes it appear heavy, but they are actually very light.

They have a neck that is short but thick and powerful. They also have short wings. As a result they are only able to travel a short distance. They also have short legs but they too are very powerful.

Class Aves
Order Piciformes
Family Ramphastidae

The toes are in pairs, and some of the toes face inward. This helps them to stay balanced and for defending themselves. The males and females are virtually identical in colors and size so it can be very hard to tell them apart from each other.

Toucan Distribution

The Toucan is found living in tropical and sub-tropical regions where it is wet and there are plenty of trees. They love the rainforest locations because they can blend in very well to their surroundings. They don’t fly much so the heavy canopy of the trees doesn’t prevent them from finding food or shelter. The Toucan is native to Southern Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean region.                 

Toucan Facts

Toucan – Family: Ramphastidae


Toucan Behavior

This particular bird is social and they live in flocks. However, they only have about 6 members which is less than most flocks of birds. They use vocalization to socialize with each other. They have calls for mating, caring for their young, and for warning others to stay away. They are very noisy when they are awake.

Toucan Feeding

Insects, eggs, small birds, and various types of fruit. They tend to prefer fruit so when it is readily available they will consume it over other choices for food. They use their bill to help them get food with ease. They are able to successfully reach for food from one location too so they don’t have to move as much or use as much energy to get their food resources.

They may use the bill to reach deep into holes in trees too so that they can get food found in there. The tongue is 6 inches long and that also aids them with being able to get large amounts of insects from inside of trees at one time. They are opportunistic and they will strategize to determine the best way to get to any sources of food that they find.

Toucan Reproduction

The males use their colorful bill to get food and then they will take them to the female they wish to mate with. The couple may toss the food back and forth for a while before they mate. They may spend several hours with each other before mating takes place.

Both parents will work to make a nest for the eggs to be deposited into. They nest in holes in the trees. There the female will deposit from 2 to 4 eggs.

Both of them will bring food back for the young. Their offspring will stay for many months after they are able to fly. This is because the young Toucan doesn’t have the bill it needs to take care of itself yet. When it develops they will be able to go off on their own.

 Toucan Information

Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)


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