Toco toucan

The largest toucan there is with a long and serrated beak

Bernard DUPONT

The Toco toucan is indeed an impressive bird, holding the title not only as the largest toucan but also as the largest member of the Ramphastidae family, which encompasses all toucan species.

While both male and female Toco toucans share similar physical characteristics, such as their striking black plumage and vibrant red and yellow markings, there are subtle differences that can help distinguish between the sexes. For instance, adults of the nominate race typically display mainly black upper parts, while the white upper tail coverts are a distinguishing feature found in both sexes.

The Toco toucan’s appearance is further embellished by its prominent white bib adorning its black underparts, which often have a yellowish tint on the foreneck. Additionally, a delicate red line accents the bib, adding to the bird’s overall splendor. The vent and under tail coverts of the Toco toucan are also adorned in a rich crimson hue, enhancing its visual appeal.

Unlike many of its toucan relatives that inhabit densely forested regions, the Toco toucan stands out as a non-forest species, preferring a variety of semi-open habitats. These habitats include coastal forest borders, woodland patches, savannahs with palm groves, plantations, forested islands, streamsides, scrubs, and orchards. This adaptability to different environments contributes to the Toco toucan’s widespread distribution across its range.

In addition to its striking appearance and habitat preferences, the Toco toucan is known for its unique feeding behavior. Like other toucans, it primarily consumes fruits, but it also supplements its diet with a variety of other food items, including insects, small reptiles, eggs, and even nestling birds. Its large, sturdy bill enables it to grasp and manipulate a wide range of food items with precision.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Argentina
2016
Bolivia
2016
Brazil
2016
French Guiana
2016
Guyana
2016
Paraguay
2016
Peru
2016
Suriname
2016
Uruguay
2016

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No