Fun Keel-billed Toucan Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Keel-billed toucan facts help us to know about the interesting bird

Are you ready to know about one of the most beautiful birds that live in the tropical forests? Let us introduce you to the keel-billed toucan, also known as the rainbow-billed toucan or sulfur-breasted toucan.

Their scientific name is 'Ramphastos sulfuratus.' The species is known for its beautiful rainbow-colored plumage that includes black, red, yellow, green, and blue feathers.

The bright yellow chest of this bird is strikingly beautiful. The bills of this species are extra special because it not only contains many different colors but also because of its lightweight composition.

Wonder why? It's because the keel-billed toucan beak or bill is made of a hollow bone that is covered with keratin.

The keel-billed toucan can be discovered in their usual habitat, which is the Tropical rainforests of Latin America. The population has a habitat spanning from the forests of Southern Mexico to Colombia.

They have high popularity in Costa Rica. It is an omnivorous bird, and the usual keel-billed toucan diet involves fruits and berries.

They can even swallow a fruit whole because of their trusted bills. The keel-billed toucan population isn't fond of flying, but they like to live in short flocks, and even huddle together in the nests in forest trees and tree cavities.

Their current conservation status is 'Least Concern' according to the IUNC Red List. However, their population is at threat due to poaching for the exotic pet trade as well as habitat loss.

Keep reading the keel-billed toucan facts to know more about their bill and the bird's life in a forest. For more interesting reads check out the articles Purple Finch and Carrion Crow

Keel-Billed Toucan Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a keel-billed toucan?

A keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) is a gorgeous bird with colorful plumage.

What class of animal does a keel-billed toucan belong to?

Keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) belongs to the class 'Aves' which stands for a bird. They belong from the order 'Piciformes'.

How many keel-billed toucans are there in the world?

According to IUCN Red List, there are anywhere from 50,000-500,000 keel-billed toucans living in the world.

Where does a keel-billed toucan live?

The keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) population usually live on the trees of the tropical, subtropical, and lowland rainforests of Latin America. A keel-billed toucan's population can be found anywhere between Southern Mexico to Venezuela to Colombia.

What is a keel-billed toucan's habitat?

A keel-billed toucan enjoys high canopies in more moist forests. They have a habit of hopping from one tree to the next, and they can easily hide behind the big leaves. During the night, they roost inside holes present in the tree barks.

Up to six keel-billed toucans can inhabit the same nest. They can inhabit areas up to an altitude of 6,200 ft (1,900 m). You cannot possibly search keel-billed toucan in a forest as they are hidden up in the trees.

Who do keel-billed toucan live with?

Keel-billed toucans are social animals and they live in a flock of 6-12 individuals. They are also known for sharing their living spaces with each other. Keel-billed toucans also love to engage in 'duels' using their colorful but spongy bills, and they also play ball by throwing fruits to each other.

How long does a keel-billed toucan live?

For being a bird the keel-billed toucans can live up to 15-20 years which is phenomenal. Maybe it's because of their rich fruit-based diet.

How do they reproduce?

Keel-billed toucans usually form serially monogamous pairs every year to raise the young toucans. They nest in a tree cavity that is already present in the forest.

A female lays anywhere between one to four white eggs. The responsibility of incubating the eggs falls on both the parents. It takes about 20 days for the eggs to hatch and for the young toucans to settle in the nest.

The pair has an equal job of feeding the chicks. The young toucans are totally dependent on their parents as they are born blind and without any feathers. It can take up to three weeks for the birds to open their eyes.

The young birds stay in the nest for eight to nine weeks, where they transform into the beautiful keel-billed toucan before turning into a fledgling. A keel-billed toucan can feed on its own unfertilized eggs.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the keel-billed toucans are placed under the status of 'Least Concern'. However, the birds are often hunted for their colorful bills and poached to be kept as exotic pets and the birds are also facing habitat loss.

Keel-Billed Toucan Fun Facts

What do keel-billed toucans look like?

Keel-billed toucans are one of the most colorful birds that you can come across. It is also the reason it is known as the rainbow-billed toucan.

The first thing to notice about this species is their rainbow plumage which consists of yellow, red, and black feathers. When it comes to their bill, it has a very distinct color combination that almost resembles that of a painting.

The bill has splotches of orange, red, and blue, while it is majorly yellow and green in color.

The joining point of the bill to the toucan's body has a black lining. The species happen to have blue feet in which two toes facing forward, and two toes face the back.

The black eyes of the species are usually circled with green which makes their black pupil pop. If you happen to notice closely, you will see a little beat of blue on their tail.

Keel-billed toucan facts are fun for kids.

How cute are they?

Kill-billed toucans are very cute, especially because of their colorful plumage. Their rainbow-colored look covers the whole of their bodies including the bill. The green and red feathers are especially striking and beautiful. However, the most beautiful aspect of this bird is its eyes that are usually surrounded by green circles.

How do they communicate?

Keel-billed Toucans have a unique way of using froglike calls to communicate with flock members. The animals are so loud that they can be heard from a distance of 0.5 miles or almost one kilometre.

How big is a keel-billed toucan?

The average body length of a keel-billed toucan is 17-22 in (42-55 cm). Moreover, their beak or bill can itself measure up to 4.7-5.9 in (2-15 cm) which is quite big.

The big bill helps them to eat a fruit whole and even to swallow its seed. They are a tad smaller compared to the toco toucans that have an average length of 24 in or 61 cm.

How high can a keel-billed toucan fly?

The maximum flight height for a keel-billed toucan isn't known. The birds aren't fond of flying and they only prefer to fly very short distances. The average wingspan seen in the animals is 43-60 in (109-152 cm) and they fly in short bursts.

How much does a keel-billed toucan weigh?

The average weight of keel-billed toucan Birds is 13 oz – 18 oz (380 g – 500 g). The animals look heavy because of the fluff of their feathers.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for the male and female present in the species.

What would you call a baby keel-billed toucan?

A baby keel-billed toucan that has just hatched from the eggs will be called a chick.

What do they eat?

Keel-billed toucans are considered to be omnivores, so they eat a variety of things as their diet. These birds can feed on things like fruits, insects, lizards, eggs, and berries in their diet.

Their long bill helps them to feed on different kinds of fruits for a healthy diet. They usually gulp down their food by tossing their head backward while holding onto a tree branch.

Are they aggressive?

Not really, keel-billed toucans are social birds that like to cohabit in small flocks. They like to take part in fun 'duels', the games aren't aggressive though.

Would they make a good pet?

No, keel-billed toucans are wild and free birds that are supposed to live in the forest. Even though they are poached for the illegal pet trade and a pair of the bird is sold at $20,400-$24,400, it isn't advisable to keep them in captivity as a keel-billed toucan pet.

Did you know...

The keel-billed toucan is the national bird species of Belize. Apart from the toucan just being the National Bird of Belize, there even happens to be a special subspecies R. s. sulfuratus found only in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico.

How heavy is a keel-billed toucan's beak?

A keel-billed toucan's beak may look heavy but actually formed by a Keratin-covered hollow bone which keeps it spongy and lightweight while being break-resistant.

Are keel-billed toucans social birds?

Yes. keel-billed toucans live in small flocks of 6-12 individuals and they even share their nests with other birds while sleeping.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including scarlet macaw, or laughing kookaburra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our keel-billed toucans coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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