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Toco Toucan: Big Beautiful Beaks

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How’s it going Defenders? This week’s animal is very colorful, and you might recognize as a mascot for some fruity cereal! That’s right, we’ve got the Toco Toucan, a beautiful beaked bird from South America. Known for their exceptionally noticeable beaks, these birds have a fairly average lifespan of 20 years. This is notable as many species of birds have much longer lifespans. The beaks of these birds look very strong, however they are not very sturdy and aren’t used for protection. Instead, these omnivores make use of their beaks to eat a variety of foods in their habitat.

What do Toco Toucans eat?

As said before, these birds are omnivores, so they enjoy a mixed diet. Fruits are probably their favorite treat, but they seek a variety of insects as well. Sometimes these birds will even eat small lizards or other birds. Their beaks do have another purpose though, to help regulate body heat!

How do Toco Toucans adapt to the rainforest?

This one is right on the nose – it’s the beak! The beak of the Toco Toucan is vital in their survival in the rainforest. From helping them grasp fruit, to regulating their temperature, and even attracting mates, their beaks are super important. However another body part you might not expect is their toes! Their body size compared to their wings & beak make it hard for Toco Toucans to fly well. This is where the toes come in. Their legs and toes are very strong, and two of their four toes can wrap around a branch from each direction. This sturdy grip gives them the mobility to get around the treetops easier.

Are Toco Toucans endangered?

As of the writing of this article, Toco Toucans are listed as Least Concern. However, their population numbers have been on the decline, so making sure we try our best to prevent that further is ideal. Being the largest and most well known Toucan, their notoriety definitely helps with people taking notice to their population. Sometimes these birds have been hunted for meat, and while we recommend against that, this has not shown any lasting effects on their population.

Are Toucans loud?

Many people might see that large beak and immediately think a large sound must come as well. However, most people state that toucans are nowhere as loud as most parrots. Their sounds can usually be split up into two types “yelps” and “croaks”. Males are also noted to have a lower voice than females, so females make a higher sound.

How do Toco Toucans reproduce?

The Toco Toucans reproduce on a yearly cycle. As they tend to live in tree holes, Toucans will search for a fallen tree for a nesting site. Once mating is complete the female will lay 2 pure white eggs a couple days later. After 16-18 days the young will hatch, and are born blind and naked. The young will remain for up to 6 weeks in the nest, with both parents caring for them.

 

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