Toucans eat other baby birds

Wanted poster toucan
size35-65 cm
speedup to 64 km / h
Weight130-680 g
lifespan12-20 years
nutritionFruits, eggs, insects
EnemiesWeasels, big birds
habitatMiddle and South America
orderWoodpecker birds
Scientific SurnameRamphastidae
featureshas a huge but light beak

The toucan's most noticeable feature is its huge beak. The best known is the giant toucan with the white "bib", the black plumage and the yellow beak. But there are around 45 species of toucan in a wide variety of colors.

Isn't the heavy beak impractical?

The toucan's beak can be four times larger than its own head and up to 20 cm long. It looks incredibly heavy, but in truth it is very light because it is hollow. The researchers do not know exactly why the bird needs such a large beak, but presumably for defense and to impress the ladies. It is also believed that the toucans recognize each other by their beak, as each one has a unique coloration.

You can read more about the function of the beak in the article Toucan - Beak is air conditioning.

Toucan - Photo: Oleksiy Mark / Shutterstock

Where do toucans live?

Most of the time you don't get to see toucans in the dense jungle. They live high up in the treetops and look for small tree hollows there to nest. It's a shame with such a colorful plumage. Who wouldn't want to admire that !?

White-breasted Toucan - Photo: feathercollector / Shutterstock

Toucans are no flight artists

The toucan is not very good at flying and therefore mostly hops from tree to tree.

Toucans sound like frogs

When toucans call, they sound like croaking frogs. In the jungle you can hear them over 500 meters away.

Sleep like toucans

Toucans lay their long beak on their back to sleep. On the other hand, they fold their tail over their head. When they curl up like that, they look like a little ball of feathers!

Collared Arassari - Photo: Eduardo Rivero / Shutterstock

Woodpecker family

The toucan does not belong to the parrots, but to the woodpecker birds.


Toucans are said to have evil spirits residing in them. In certain religions in South and Central America, a new father is not allowed to eat toucan meat, otherwise his newborn child would be bewitched. Some Indian medicine men had the toucan as a totem to fly with them into the spirit world.

  • You might also be interested in:
  • Great spotted woodpecker profile
  • Watch it now at
  • Video: Animals in the rainforest - such as the toucan

Swainson's Toucan - Photo: Eduardo Rivero / Shutterstock