You might have not seen a toucan in person, but you have surely seen its image on the grocery aisles of your local supermarket. Can you still remember the colorful bird on the cover of the Froot Loops cereal? You got it right, that bird is a toucan!
Toucans are widely known for their huge and colorful beaks. And while this has been their trademark for quite some time, there are still a lot of interesting facts that will interest you about these majestic birds!
Here are seven fun toucan facts to get you started!
Thrilling Toucan Facts To Share With Your Loved Ones
Toucans are probably among the most unique and admirable birds given the size and appeal of their beaks. This has been proven by the Toucan family in the blockbuster Rio movie!
Watch the movie here: Rio (2011). But before doing so, you might want to know more about toucan birds! Better get going with this list!
- Male and Female Toucans are Almost Same in Size and Color
Both genders of toucans are monomorphic, which means that you can’t easily recognize the male and female just based on their color and size. You can tell them apart once you hear their voice! Females have higher pitches compared to their male counterparts, but both can sound like a croaking frog! .
Toucans call to announce bounty foraging sites, or to separate themselves from other birds. They also use sounds to drive away their predators!
- Toucans Can be Pets
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As obedient and friendly birds, toucans can be adopted as pets for kids! They also like to stay in just one place, especially since their wingspan is small and they cannot fly for long distances. They actually need to exert extra effort in flapping their wings to cross even just short places!
While they can be lazy compared to other birds, toucans make up for it by being extremely social. A traveling flock can have up to 22 toucans joining each other!
- A Toucan’s Natural Habitat is the Rainforest
While toucans can be docile enough to be pets, it is still best for them to be in the tropical rainforests. They just love the warm climate and the right amount of rainfall! If not in forests, toucans can also live in the tallest trees in mountainous areas.
Usually, toucans live in nests settled in a hollowed-out part of a tree. Since they might have a hard time making their own holes using their beaks, they settle for old nests left by woodpeckers. They can also use parts of trees with fallen branches as their homes.
- Toucans Have the Largest Beaks Among All Birds
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Toucans have close relatives in the form of woodpeckers, but the size of their beaks just don’t come close. With an average measure of 8 inches, these large beaks are actually a third of a toucan’s total length!
Toucan beaks may look sharp and big enough to scare enemies away, but they are not actually used by these birds when fighting. Instead, these are used to pick fruits that they will be eating. These beaks are also light because it is made from keratin, the same substance that composes human hair and nails.
These signature beaks are not instantly that huge, though! A newbord toucan will have to wait for several months before their beaks grow to its full size.
With all these talks about toucans, you would want to read Toby Toucan and His Noisy Beak!
- Body Heat Can Be Regulated by Toucans
By controlling the amount of blood that flows to their beaks, toucans can actually regulate their body temperature. Less blood flow means less heat released.
When toucans sleep at night, they also turn their head backs for comfort, then they tuck their beaks into their feathers for added warmth.
- Fruits Are Very Important for Toucans
Other than being toucan’s main food, fruits also give toucans the water they need. Since mangoes, berries, apples, melons, and papayas are all rich in water, they can already suffice for a toucan’s diet. Toucans usually peel and eat these fruits through their beaks.
On mornings, you can see toucans transfer from one tree to another to look for food. If there are not enough fruits, they can also eat insects and plants!
- Toucans Can Lay Four Eggs Yearly
Toucans only have one partner during mating season, but one is enough to be able to produce two to four eggs! When a female toucan lays eggs, these are stored on their nests inside tree holes.
And while they might look different from each other, chickens and toucans share the same name for their offspring. Once these toucan eggs are hatched, they will also be called chicks!
Chicks will only open their eyes and form feathers when they reach three weeks. Prior to this, they are very dependent on their mothers due to having closed eyes and bare skin. Flying will only be possible when they reach six to eight weeks old.
The responsibility of protecting the chicks falls on the mother toucan. To do this, they use loud noises to keep predators away. If this falls short, they strongly hit their beaks against trees to create noises that will hopefully be enough to drive enemies away!
Frequently Asked Questions on Toucans
Why are toucans going extinct?
Toucans’ feathers – collectively known as plumage – are undeniably beautiful. But this beauty also puts them in danger of being hunted for their plumage. Add this to most of their habitats being destroyed, and toucans are now sadly considered as endangered species.
Can toucans hurt you?
Toucans will not hurt you unprovoked, and even if they try, their beaks are actually light enough that it can’t cause any serious injuries! Their bite might still still and feel a little uncomfortable, but not to the extent that it can break your skin.
Are toucans intelligent?
Toucans can imitate other smart birds like crows and joys. They can also do tricks if you have trained them long enough. There had also been instances that some pet toucans tease other household pets!
Can toucans eat meat?
While toucans mostly rely on fruits not just for their food but also water intake, they are actually omnivores. This means that they can eat both meat and plants! Small lizards, rodents, and insects can fall prey to toucans.