Return of Bird of the Week: Keel-billed Toucan


Keel-billed Toucan, Costa Rica

Keel-billed Toucan, Costa Rica

Toucans are a signature bird species of the Neotropics. Their large size, spectacular bill, flamboyant tails and noisy calls make them immediately identifiable and immense fun to see. There are about 31(!) species of Toucan.

The Keel-billed Toucan ranges from southern Mexico to northern Columbia, but they are most common in Costa Rica and Panama. The specialized bill is both lighter and more powerful than it looks; it’s adapted to crack open fruits and nuts. The colors are a sexual characteristic.

Keel-billed Toucan, Costa Rica

Keel-billed Toucan, Costa Rica

In addition to fruits and nuts, Keel-billeds feed on small vertebrates, including snakes and lizards, and larger insects. They forage in small flocks. Cavity nesters, they have 1-4 offspring, a relatively slow rate of reproduction. While their numbers are declining, they are not yet regarded as a threatened species. Habitat loss and subsistence hunting appear to be the greatest threats.

For more bird photographs, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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