Green Earth

A rainbow of a bird – meet the Keel-Billed Toucan

Greenearth Keel Billed Toucan

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The Greenearth series on Costa Rican wildlife continues with the toucan. This wonderful and unique bird that needs a habitat with pastures and trees. It is native to lowlands and foothills as well as moist forest canopies. Living in vast areas of South America, the keel-billed toucan is also known by the name of rainbow-billed toucan.

Although this bird is not on the list of endangered species, its niche is under threat by deforestation and consequent loss of habitat as well as illegal pet trade. Its young may also fall victim to predators such as snakes and other birds since it nests in hollow cavities in trees. The toucan’s beak is one third the length of its entire body that is between 44 and 47 centimeters in length.

When feeding it drops its head backwards to move the food from its bill into its throat. As an omnivore, it feeds on fruits as well as spiders, small insects and the eggs and sometimes even nestlings of other birds. The keel-billed toucan moves in small flocks of up to six.

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