Toucan Facts

Toucan Facts
Toucan is tropical bird, best known by its large, colorful bill. There are 40 different species of toucans that are widely distributed in Mexico, Central America, South America, and Caribbean. Toucans can survive in various habitats (lowland forests, savannas, shrublands), but they prefer life in tropical rainforests. Illegal pet trade is the greatest threat for the survival of toucans in the wild. Luckily, population of toucans is still large and stable and these birds are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Toucan Facts:
Toucans vary in size, depending on the species. Large species of toucans can reach 25 inches in length and 24 ounces of weight.
Almost entire body of toucan is covered with black feathers (except the throat, which is covered with white or yellow feathers). Color of the feathers provides camouflage.
Both males and females have large, brightly colored bills that can reach 8 inches in length.
Despite its large size, bill has low mass because it is made of keratin (same substance that builds hair and nails of mammals). Also, bill has numerous air pockets which additionally decrease its weight.
Toucan can regulate body temperature using its bill. Increased circulation of blood through the bill helps in elimination of excess body heat.
Bill has several purposes. It is used for gathering and peeling of the fruit, for intimidation of the predators and for attracting mating partners (length of the bill plays role in the selection of the mating partners).
Toucan has long tongue (same length as the bill). Tongue is mostly used as an organ of taste, but it also helps in catching of the insects.
Toucan is an omnivore (animal which eats other animals and plants). Its diet is mainly based on fruit. Besides fruit, toucan eats berries, seeds, eggs and insects.
Toucans spend most of their life high in the treetops. Sharp claws and curved toes ensure stability on the branches. When bird needs to change the location, it will jump from one branch to another.
Toucans have short wings and they don't like to fly. When they need to leave the safety of trees, they will glide through the air and travel small distances.
Toucans live in small groups (called flocks) composed of up to 6 birds. They inhabit holes in the trees and abandoned nests of woodpeckers.
Toucans occasionally wrestle using their bills. Winner of the battle ensures dominance and better position in the group.
Toucans mate once per year. Female lays 2 to 4 eggs in the nest in the tree. Both parents participate in the incubation of the eggs which lasts 16 to 20 days. Parental care continues after hatching of the birds.
Baby toucans are naked at birth. Bill is small and it grows along with the bird.
Toucans can survive up to 20 years in the wild.

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