Fun Toucan Bird Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Toucan Bird Facts For Kids

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The toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) is a species of birds that find their home in the rainforests of South America. A close relative of the woodpeckers, these colorful birds are distinguished by their large bills that seem too big in size compared to the body. Toucans make their nests in fruiting trees and tree holes, feed on eggs stolen from the nests of other birds and fruits, and have the largest beaks of all animals. They are omnivorous and although their primary diet consists of fruits, such as papayas and bananas, they also feed on small birds, particularly eggs and hatchlings. One of the most interesting facts about the toco toucan (the most common species of toucans) is that it can hang upside down from tree branches and pluck fruit with its long bill. These birds also take a long time to digest fruit (about 75 minutes) and they spend this time socializing with other members of their group. Though these birds have long beaks, their bite does not hurt as much as that of other birds, such as sparrows, as their bills are hollow inside and hence do not have the pressure to cut you. These birds are able to understand words, though they lack the knowledge or ability to form words of their own. To know more about different types of toucans, such as the mountain toucans (Aulacorhynchus prasinus), facts about the structure of their bills, nesting cavities, and perceived threats by this bird species, read the article below.

If you like this article, you can also read our articles on American oystercatcher facts and little egret facts.

Fun Toucan Bird Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Fruits, Nuts, Small Reptiles, Insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

17.6-30.9 oz (500-876 g)

How long are they?

21.6-25.5 in (55-65 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, white, yellow

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Tropical Forests, Urban Wildlife, Flooded Grasslands, Tropical Savannas


South America









Toucan Bird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a toucan bird?

Toucans are colorful birds, belonging to the family Ramphastidae, with large bills, that are found in the tropical forests of South America.

What class of animal does a toucan bird belong to?

The toco toucan belongs to the Aves class of the Animalia kingdom.

How many toucan birds are there in the world?

There is no proper estimate given regarding the population number of toucan birds in the world, either on the IUCN Red List or any other verified sources.

Where does a toucan bird live?

Toucans are found on the continent of South America in countries such as Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Peru.

What is a toucan bird's habitat?

The toco toucan does not reside in deep forests as it is a non-forest bird. It primarily inhabits a broad range of semi-open habitats such as forest edges, woodlands, plantations, savannas, wooded gardens, and other open habitats with scattered trees. They are also often seen in the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland area, and the world's largest flooded grasslands.

Toucan nests are typically placed high in tree branches and hollows, a part of which is excavated by the parent birds themselves. They may also nest in holes, terrestrial termite nests, woodpecker holes, and earth-banks.

Who do toucan birds live with?

Toucans are social birds. They are usually seen in pairs or in small groups. They move and fly from one place to another in a single file.

How long does a toucan bird live?

Toucans have a life span of 18-26 years.

How do they reproduce?

Toco toucans are sexually monogamous in nature. They form pairs and stick to the same mating partner throughout the breeding season. The breeding season normally occurs in spring but varies according to different regions. The female lays a cluster of between two and four eggs and the incubation period lasts for 17-18 days. The eggs are incubated by both the male and female birds. The young chicks are protected by the parent birds until they become independent till the age of 43-52 days. The chicks reach sexual maturity at the age of three or four years.

What is their conservation status?

There is no definite number given regarding the total population of toucans. However, they are common and are classified as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. However, their numbers are slowly decreasing due to hunting and trapping to keep them as pets.

Toucan Bird Fun Facts

What do toucan birds look like?

Toucan perched on a branch

The most common toucan, or the toco toucan (Ramphastos toco), is the largest species in the Ramphastos family. The toucans have striking multicolored feathers combining an assortment of colors. Their body is mainly covered in black feathers, with a splash of yellow, red, and blue in many parts. The throat and upper tail feathers are white, and the lower tail-coverts are red in color. The skin around their eyes is blue and surrounded by another ring of bare, orange skin. Their feet are blue in color.

The most prominent characteristic of the toco toucan is its huge bill, which measures up to 9 in (23 cm) in length. The bill is yellowish-orange in color with a black base and a large spot on the tip. It looks heavy but is moderately light because the inside of the bill mainly is hollow. The tongue of the toco toucan is almost the same length as its bill and is very flat. Both the male and female of the species look quite similar but the chicks have lackluster feather colors and shorter bills than their parents. Male toucans have 10% narrower and longer bills than females but other than that they are identical.

How cute are they?

Baby toucans are very cute and affectionate. The beaks that are unevenly sized and too large for their bodies lend a comical appearance to these birds which makes them look even cuter.

How do they communicate?

Toco toucans use their vocalizations and beaks to communicate amongst themselves. They click their beaks and chatter loudly to interact with each other. They also utilize raucous croaking noises to startle likely predators and enable the group to escape.

How big is a toucan bird?

The average size of toucans is 21.6-25.5 in (55-65 cm) in length. They have very large bills that measure up to 9 in (23 cm) in length.

How fast can a toucan bird fly?

Toucans can fly at an average speed of 39.7 mph (64 kph).

How much does a toucan bird weigh?

The weight of toucans varies with the species. The most common toucans, toco toucans, weigh 17.6-30.9 oz (500-876 g) while the keel-billed toucan weighs 14.1 oz (400 g), and the channel-billed toucan weighs 11.2 oz (320 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female species of toucans.

What would you call a baby toucan bird?

Baby toucans are called chicks.

What do they eat?

Toucans are omnivores in nature. Their primary food choice consists of fruits, nuts, and berries. Hence they are referred to as frugivores by many researchers, as their main diet is fruit. Along with fruit, toucans also feed on insects, small reptiles, frogs, small birds, and amphibians. Toucans are also known to devour eggs and hatchlings stolen from the nests of other birds. This stealing behavior classifies them as opportunistic feeders.

As their primary diet consists of various fruits, the toucans play an important role in the ecosystem. The waste they excrete after eating the fruits leaves behind seeds that cause plants to grow.

Are they dangerous?

When toucans are out of their cages, particularly during the breeding season, they have a tendency to be very aggressive and relentlessly attack their owners and people who visit their homes. Although it is not a bird that presents many problems when in human contact but if it is captured while at liberty it would not be at all strange that it would become violent. Toucans are very loving and friendly when they already share a bond with their owners, and much more with other birds.

Would they make a good pet?

Toucans make excellent pets. They are cuddly, friendly, curious about their surroundings, intelligent, and playful. They like to play with toys and with their owners and will give you hours of wonderful companionship.

Did you know...

Toucans have two toes pointing forward and two pointing backward. This unique design aids them in hanging onto branches. Also, their uncommon feet allow them to effortlessly leap from one branch to the next.

The toucan's beak is the largest of any animal but is actually very lightweight as it is mainly hollow on the inside. Their bill is made of the protein keratin and helps in maintaining body temperature. The bill has the capacity to alter blood flow and so control heat distribution in their body, allowing the toucan to use its bill as a thermal radiator. Toucans place their beaks under their wings while sleeping to keep them insulated and hence reduce the heat loss during sleep. The beaks of toco toucans are comparable to that of elephant ears.

Toco toucans are closely related to woodpeckers.

Do toucans eat other birds?

Yes, toucans feed on small birds. They are also known to eat eggs and hatchlings stolen from the nests of other birds.

Can toucans eat bananas?

Yes, toco toucans eat bananas. Members of the toucan family live on a diet of fresh fruits and high-quality, low-iron pellets. Pellets form up about 50% of their diet, while the other half consists of fresh fruit. They should be fed plenty of fresh fruit, such as bananas, grapes, cantaloupes, melons, apples, papayas, and berries.

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 the Inca tern and the king rail.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable toucan bird coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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