Wednesday, October 2, 2013

White-throated Toucan

It isn't tough to figure out how this bird got it's common name-- just look at this picture! These birds, native to the Amazon, have sleek black bodies feathers, blue skin around the eyes, large colorful beaks, and brilliant white throats.

Once upon a time the two subspecies (called Cuvier's and Red-billed Toucans) were considered to be two totally different species. But now we know that they are all the same, and the two subspecies will even mate and hybridize with each other.

When it comes time to breed, a pair of Toucans will take over an abandoned nest, or find a cavity high up in the trees (they do not build their own nests). Both parents will help with incubation, and with feeding their young chicks who are born helpless. The young Toucans grow fast though! They flegde after about 6 weeks.

White-throated Toucans generally live in pairs, or in very small groups. They feed on fruits as well as on insects and small reptiles. And though they can fly, they do so very awkwardly, and never for very long distances. Good thing they tend to live in very dense forests where the next tree isn't too far away!

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : South America
Size : Length up to 2ft (61cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Piciformes
Family : Ramphastidae -- Genus : Ramphastos -- Species : R. tucanus
Image : OpenCage

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