Yellow-throated toucan

Formerly known as Yellow fronted toucan; formerly-formerly known as Chestnut-mandibled toucan

Becky Matsubara

With its vibrant plumage and distinctive oversized bill, it is a charismatic bird species found throughout the moist forests of Central America to Peru. Known for its striking appearance and unique feeding habits, this canopy-dwelling toucan plays a vital ecological role in its habitat.

One of the most notable features of the Yellow-throated Toucan is its large, bicolored bill, which is both striking and functional. This specialized bill allows the toucan to pluck fruits from tree branches efficiently and manipulate them while feeding. Additionally, the bill’s size and shape make it an effective tool for capturing a variety of prey, including large insects such as cicadas and stick insects, as well as lizards and the eggs of other bird species.

As primarily fruit-feeding birds, Yellow-throated Toucans play a crucial role in seed dispersal within their ecosystem. By consuming fruits and later excreting the seeds in different locations, they contribute to the regeneration and propagation of fruiting trees, thus aiding in the maintenance of forest biodiversity.

While fruits comprise the majority of their diet, Yellow-throated Toucans also supplement their nutrition with protein-rich prey, particularly when raising their young. During the breeding season, both parents participate in caring for the offspring, which requires a higher protein intake for proper growth and development.

Yellow-throated Toucans are known for their monogamous mating behavior, forming long-term pair bonds with their mates. They typically nest in pre-existing hollow cavities in trees, often created by decay or previous nesting activity. Both parents share the responsibilities of incubating the eggs and caring for the young, demonstrating a cooperative breeding strategy that enhances the chances of reproductive success.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Colombia
2016
Costa Rica
2016
Ecuador
2016
Honduras
2016
Nicaragua
2016
Panama
2016
Peru
2016
Venezuela
2016

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / 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