What Do Toucans Eat? Fascinating Food Facts You Didn't Know | Kidadl


What Do Toucans Eat? Fascinating Food Facts You Didn't Know

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

When you think of tropical birds, the toco toucan is probably the first one to pop into your head.

Toucans are known for their signature large bill and their glossy black feathers which most toucans possess. Though there are various species of toucans, they all span over a common range and share similar characteristics.

Toucans live in rainforests spanning from southern Mexico to Central America and the Caribbean. They can usually be found nesting inside tree cavities, and they are heavily dependent on the natural bounty of the forest for food. Their diet comprises mostly of fruits, vegetables, and a smaller percentage of insects, rodents, and reptiles. They use their long beaks to break off fruits from the upper canopies of the forest and snatch up any prey lingering nearby. These beaks are serrated at the edges, which makes it easier to grab and tear at fruits. Their feet are specially designed to get a good grip on the branches of trees, with two of the four toes pointing in the forward direction and the other two facing behind.

If you are enjoying this article, do check out our other pages on what quails eat and what squid eat too.

What do toucans eat in the rainforest?

Toucans are tropical birds that have quite a wide range, from southern Mexico to Central and South America, as well as in parts of the Caribbean. There are many different species of toucans, and their diet may vary slightly depending on the type of toucan or toucanet. So what is a typical toucan's diet in the rainforest?

As they live in hot, humid places - mostly in rainforests- they require a well-balanced diet that has a high moisture content. As is popularly depicted in media, toucans are quite fond of fresh fruit, and it comprises a large part of their diet. However, they are not strictly frugivorous in nature and consume fish, smaller birds, bird eggs, and animals like rodents and lizards as well. They usually feed on baby birds of other species, and are known predators of parrots!

They can eat insects as well, as they are small and easy to swallow. Toucans are fond of termites, cicadas, and caterpillars, all of which are abundantly available in the rainforest. They can be seen seeking out crickets, which help with the increased need for protein, which they need in order to lay eggs, during the breeding season.

What fruit do toucans eat?

Toucans are known for their long, curved beaks, which are specifically designed to reach for and obtain fruits from the higher forest canopy layers. Though the majority of their diet contains fruits and vegetables, they mostly stick to foods that are seedless or have smaller seeds, as they are unable to digest seeds properly. Hence if you have a pet toucan, refrain from feeding it birdseed as its digestive tract is not equipped to digest it - leading to rapid weight loss and fatigue.

Being tropical birds, toucans have access to an array of fruits including guavas, figs, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, palm fruits, dragon fruit, acai berries, papayas, and wild ficus fruits.

They are open to eating any type of fruit, however, if you have a pet toucan, then be sure to keep a limit on how much citrus fruit you feed them. An excess of citrus can lead to an increase in iron storage in the body, which can be quite harmful to them. Make sure your bird's diet contains 50% fresh fruit, with the rest containing chopped-up vegetables and some insects for protein. You can also feed them low-iron pellets, which have a good amount of fiber and nutrients and will prevent the build-up of too much iron in your toucan's body.

Though toucans use their large beaks to secure food, the size makes it awkward and often uncomfortable for them to actually dig into it properly. To make things easier for your pet toucan, always chop up fruits into small, bite-sized pieces so that they can easily swallow them, Feeding them different fruits in the form of a fruit salad is recommended so that they get a proper balance of vitamins and minerals. Make sure that you include fruit containing citric acid like oranges, tomatoes, and pineapple in very small quantities, to maintain low iron content.

Toucan on tree branch.

What do toco toucans eat?

The toco toucan is probably the most well-known toucan species and can be found commonly in Central America, notably in Brazil and Peru. They are very adaptable due to their wide range, and habitat loss does not deter them as easily as it does other species of toucans.

They follow diets similar to those of other toucans, being fond of fresh fruits and vegetables, which they pluck out with their curved beaks. They are especially fond of guavas and figs, as well as wild peppers. Besides these, they also feast on small birds, rodents, reptiles, frogs, and the eggs of other creatures. They can also be seen hunting for small insects, with their prey of choice being termites and caterpillars.

What do toucans drink?

Like all other birds, the toucan's drink of choice is water. As wild toucans get most of their hydration needs met through the large amount of fruit they consume, it is theorized that they do not need to drink much water. However, they still seem to be very fond of water and can be observed bathing themselves in it very often.

However for pet toucans, as their diet consists of pellets as well, they need fresh water available at all times as these can be quite dry. Providing a small pool of sufficient depth is recommended for them to immerse themselves in and bathe while they drink.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what toucans eat then why not take a look at what swans eat or toco toucan facts.

Written By
Tanya Parkhi

<p>Tanya is a skilled content creator with a passion for writing and a love for exploring new cultures. With a degree in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, India, Tanya worked on her writing skills by contributing to various editorials and publications. She has experience writing blogs, articles, and essays, covering a range of topics. Tanya's writing reflects her interest in travel and exploring local traditions. Her articles showcase her ability to engage readers and keep them interested.</p>

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