Red-Billed Toucan

Ramphastos tucanus

Least Concern

Range & Habitat
This bird is found throughout the Amazon rainforest in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil.

General Description
The Red-billed toucan is brightly marked and has a huge bill. The bill is typically 14-18 cm (51/2-7 in) long. The only species of toucan that surpasses it in size is the toco toucan. It has black plumage with a white throat and it's breast is bordered below with a narrow red line. The rump is bright yellow and the crissum is red. The bare skin around the eye is blue. The bill has a yellow tip, upper ridge, and base of the upper mandible, and the base of the lower mandible is blue. Males are larger and longer-billed than females, but otherwise the sexes are alike. Small flocks or more commonly pairs of birds move through the forest with a heavy, rather weak, undulating flight, rarely flying more than 100m (330 ft) at a time.

The toucan lays two to four white eggs in an unlined cavity high in a decayed section of a living tree, or in an old woodpecker nest in a dead tree. Both sexes incubate the eggs for 14-15 days, and the toucan chicks remain in the nest after hatching. They are blind and naked at birth, with short bills, and have specialized pads on their heels to protect them from the rough floor of the nest. Chicks are fed by both parents, and fledge after about six weeks. The parents continue feeding the juveniles for several weeks after they have left the nest.

Diet: Omnivore
This species is primarily an arboreal fruit-eater, but will also take insect, lizards, bird eggs, and other small vertebrates.

Absolute Astronomy. 2009, December.
IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. 2009, December.

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