Facts for Kids About Toucans
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Facts for Kids About Toucans

Toucans are considered one of the most popular breed of birds in the world. The birds are known to live in the rainforests of South America. Kids and adults alike are fascinated with their long bill and colorful feathers. Their association with a certain cereal company also boosted their growing popularity among kids. The following are some interesting Toucan facts for kids.

Overview

Toucans are considered one of the most popular breed of birds in the world. The birds are known to live in the rainforests of South America. Kids and adults alike are fascinated with their long bill and colorful feathers. Their association with a certain cereal company also boosted their growing popularity among kids. The following are some interesting Toucan facts for kids.

 

About its Long Bill

The bill of the Toucans is said to be as long as 7.5 inches. Both the female and the male Toucans make use of their bill in catching morsels of food and passing it to one another as a way of courting the other. They also use their bill to reach for fruits on tall trees and branches as well as in skinning them. The Toucans also love to feed on insects, young birds and lizards. They are not fond of citrus fruits as this can cause them to develop some health problems.

They likewise use their bill to ward off potential threats and predators. Their bill, which is made up of bony fibers and membranes in between several layers of keratin, is also strong enough to help them fight their predators.

Toucans are classified as a softbilled breed but this is not in relation to their bill, but in the kind of foods they usually feed on. The bill of the Toucan can grow to as much as 1/3 of their body size. While their long bill may look intimidating, it can hardly leave damage on humans and other animals. It is said that their bill has very weak muscles and thus makes it difficult for the Toucans to bite hard and crunch. The long bill is usually tucked into the wings of the Toucan when they sleep, with their head turned and tail straight up.

Environment

Toucans grow in the rainforests of South America, although some species exist as far as the north of Mexico. In their natural environment, Toucans like to live in small flocks. A flock can be anywhere from four to six birds. Because of their bright colors, they are able to hide in the forests against possible predators. They communicate with each other through their vocalizations. In fact, Toucans are considered one of the noisiest birds in the jungle. They make a lot of noises such as yelps, croaks, rattles, and mews. Some large Toucans may even sing at dawn.

Like woodpeckers, which are closely related to them, they also like to live in holes in tree trunks. This can be quite surprising considering the size of these birds and the cramped space inside the hole of the tree trunk. But the Toucans are able to sleep at the bottom of the hole by bending their beak and resting it on their back and while folding their tail up to their breast. Their wings then wrap the rest of their body.

It is often hard to tell whether a Toucan is a male or a female. One can usually determine their gender by observing which one laid the eggs. The female Toucans usually lay two to four eggs every year, with both parents religiously taking care of their eggs. The young bird does not have have a long bill upon its birth, but the bill eventually lengthens as the young Toucan grows up.

Can I Keep One as a Pet?

Toucans are smart and friendly. Because of these, they are also considered wonderful pets by many. They can be trained to learn tricks easily, although they may seldom talk. There are several varieties of Toucans to choose from. There are large ones as well as some smaller bird varieties.

The average Toucan length ranges from 13 to 25 inches. There are some birds that can live for more than 40 years. Some of these Toucan varieties which can be adopted as pets include the Keel Bill, Toco, Swainson’s, Emerald Toucanets, Green Aracaris, Collared Aracaris, and Guyana Toucanets. The Toucan Sam is considered as the most popular breed and is the inspiration for Froot Loops cereals. The Keel Bill, on the other hand, is the national bird of Belize. The Tocos are considered the largest type of Toucans, and the small Toucans are often referred to as Toucanettes.

Toucans are called monomorphic, which means that both the female and male breeds look exactly the same. There is often no reliable way of telling the gender of a particular Toucan except for seeing which one lays eggs.

Diet & Needs

Pet owners should provide an ideal environment to the birds. The minimum size of the cage is 4 x 8 x 4 feet for smaller birds, and about 8 x 12 x 6 feet for larger breeds. Cages should be kept away from drafts and should not be placed near the kitchen since these birds are highly sensitive to strong odors and smoke. Toys are also necessary for keeping them entertained and healthy.

About half of the diet of the Toucans should consist of low iron pellets which contains minerals, vitamins and proteins. Toucans also love feeding on fruits such as apples, bananas, blue berries, grapes, cantaloupe and most non-citrus varieties. Citrus fruits have acids which can frequently cause health problems among Toucans. They can also eat a few vegetable types. These bird should also be provided with clean and fresh water everyday.

Keep a close eye on your pet to watch for sickness. Symptoms to watch out for include decreased appetite, lethargy and losing weight fast. Sitting at the bottom of the cage may also mean that they are suffering from some form of disease.

Toucans are natives of the South American region and through the years have been a favorite of many pet owners because of their lovable appearance. Not only do they have colorful feathers but also colorful and entertaining personalities. Toucans love to be trained and can easily learn tricks, although they do not talk a lot. Perhaps this is the perfect pet for you!

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toucans live in the south rainforest
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