Toco Toucan – the most popular bird in the Toucan family, although native to the tropical forests of South America, but today they are distributed in many other parts of the world. What makes the Toco Toucan one of the best-known birds is their large, colorful bill.
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Indigenous peoples regard the bird with a sacred eye; they are traditionally seen as conduits between the worlds of the living and the spirits. The toco toucan, the largest and best-known toucan species, is at home in South America’s tropical forests. Its oversized, colorful bill has made it one of the world’s most popular birds. They can weigh nearly two pounds and grow to 25 inches long, with their bill accounting for nearly half of their length.
Toco toucans feed either individually or in small flocks in the canopy. They tend to hop more than they fly. Their bright colors provide good camouflage in the dappled light of the rainforest canopy. The birds keep up a racket of vocalizations—mainly grunting and snoring sounds—that are often compared to the croaking of frogs.
The bill is useful as a feeding tool. The birds use them to reach fruit on branches that are too small to support their weight. And the bill’s serrated edges are useful for peeling fruit. In addition to fruit such as figs, oranges, and guavas, toco toucans eat insects and eggs and nestlings of young birds.