Tremendous Toucan

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | April 20, 2010 | Comment Now

South America’s tropical forests are home to the Toco toucan. These beautiful birds are recognized everywhere. The oversized, colorful bill is characteristic of the bird. This has ensured that the toucan is one of the world’s most popular birds.

The bill extends for 7.5 inches. It can be viewed as a mating trait; however, both male and female toucans possess these bills. Both, males and females use their bills to obtain tasty morsels of food. They pitch this food to one another during a fruit toss, which is characteristic of a mating ritual.

When it comes to weaponry, the bill is more of a showcase item and does pack much substance. It is a honeycomb of bone and contains a lot of air. The size of the bill may prove a deterrent for predators. However, it is of little use in combat.

The bill of the toucan is more useful as a feeding tool. Toucans use their bills to pick on fruit located on branches that are too small to handle their weight. The bills can also be used to skin their pickings. Besides fruit, Toco toucans eat insects, lizards, young birds, and other bird’s eggs.

They thrive in small flocks of nearly six birds. The bright colors serve as a perfect camouflage in the myriad lights of the rain forest canopy. The toucan maintains a racket of vocalization. This suggests they do not want to hide themselves.

Tree holes serve as a nest for toucans. They usually lay two to four eggs every year. Young ones are cared for by both parents. Young toucans have a small bill at birth. It grows over a period of time and requires several months to develop completely.

Toucans are popular pets, and many are captured to meet the demand for this trade. They serve as commercial mascots and are known for hawking stout, cereal, and other items. Indigenous inhabitants revere the bird as sacred. The toucan is seen as a conduit between the living and the world of spirits.

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