To listen to this article, please select Control + Shift + Z to launch the pop-up player.

Browser out-of-date!

You are using an out-of-date web browser, to avoid problems when using A-Z Animals and other sites we strongly recommend you upgrade to the latest version of your web browser!
Get Firefox Get Google Chrome Get Opera Get Microsoft Internet Explorer Get Apple Safari
Remove Advertising
A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources

Animals >>


 Add to Phobia Filter  Contribute  Print  Listen
The toucan is a medium-sized bird native to the rain forests of central and South America and the Caribbean. There are more than 40 different species of toucan that inhabit the South American jungles today.

The toucan is best known for it's large colourful beak that despite it's large size, is surprisingly light due to the fact that it is made of a substance called keratin (the same substance that makes up the nails and hair of many animals including humans) . The toucan's beak measures around half the toucans body length and is used for mating, feeding and defence purposes. The toucan's bill however, is not particularly strong and so it is used more to intimidate predators rather than to fight them off.

The toucan only has small wings as it dwells in forests and therefore do not need to travel large distances. The toucan's wingspan is roughly the same length as the toucans body. Although the toucan is able to fly, the toucan is not very good at flying and cannot be in the air for very long. Instead of using their wings to get around, the toucan hops between the tree branches using it curved toes and sharp claws to get a good grip on the narrow surface that it holds on to.

Toucans are omnivorous birds and feed on a mixture of plants and animals. Toucans eat fruits, berries, nuts and seeds along with eggs, insects and small mammals and reptiles. The primary source of food for the toucan is the fruit which grows on the trees where the toucan lives.

Toucans have a number of predators in the South American jungle including humans, large birds of prey and wild cats. Weasels, snakes and rats tend to prey more on the eggs of the toucan rather than the toucan itself (many small animals are generally intimidated by the toucan's large bill).

Although toucans are generally solitary when feeding, toucans often live in small groups of around 6 or 7 birds. The bright colours of the toucan gives the toucan camouflage in the colourful rainforest canopy. However, due to their bright colours, toucans are often captured and sold as pets with toucans being popular animals in the exotic pet trade.

Toucans build their nest in trees in lay around 3 eggs. When the toucan chicks hatch, both the male toucan and the female toucan help to feed them and protect them from predators. The toucan chicks are born with small beaks that don't reach their full size for at least a few months.

Toucan Comments (69)

The Awesome One

"what is the shape of the toucan "


"toucan are cute and cool"


"This helped me with my monthly test, what a great website to help all of us with our homework.ââ¿â^_^+_(â_â)ï¼ï¼¾âï¼¾ï¼"

Showing 3 of 69 comments.

Show More Comments

Post Comment

Your Name:

Article Rating:

Your Comment:

Article Tools

Print Article
View printer friendly version of Toucan article.
Listen to Article
Listen to audio version of Toucan article. Hot key: CTRL key + Shift key + Z key

Toucan Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Ramphastos Toco
The animal group that the species belongs to...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
29cm - 63cm (11.5in - 29in)
Wing Span:
The measurement from one wing tip to the other...
50cm - 119cm (20in - 47in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
130g - 680g (4.6oz - 24oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
64km/h (39mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
12 - 20 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
White, Yellow, Orange, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Fruit
The specific area where the animal lives...
Lowland rainforest and tropical forest borders
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Fruit, Eggs, Insects
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Human, Weasels, Large Birds
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Small body and enormous colourful beak

Related Animals

Keel Billed ToucanKeel Billed Toucan
It's beak can reach nearly 20 cm long!