Red Billed Toucan

(White Throated Toucan)

Wild Status:


Scientific Name:

Ramphastos tucanus


The Amazon Rain Forest of Northern South America.


The Red Billed Toucan is the world’s second largest toucan and measures 50 to 60 cms in length. The male is larger than the female. It has a large colourful ruddy brown bill that has a blue ridge along the top, blue edge at the bottom edge of the upper mandible and blue base with a yellow tip. The bill is serrated, or toothed, that help the bird catch, grasp, and even skin whatever it might be having for lunch.

The bare skin around the eye is bright blue. Also known as the white throated toucan it has a large white throat bordered by a red line, and a yellow rump with a red bottom. The rest of the plumage is black.


Feeding and habits:

Diet consists of fruit, insects, small reptiles, birds and bird’s eggs.

Red Billed toucans live in the South American Rainforests, normally in pairs but occasionally in small flocks. They live mainly in the treetops of tropical rain forests, especially near water in clearings. They fly clumsily with a heavy, undulating flight and rarely more than a 100 metres at a time.

Their rainforest home is usually in a clearing near water. Occasionally they will make their home in city trees.


Breeding and Life Expectancy:

Lifespan: 20 – 30 years.

The nest of a Red Billed Toucan is normally an unlined cavity of a tree or an old woodpeckers nest. 2 – 4 eggs are laid and incubated by both parents for two weeks. The chicks fledge at six weeks and continue to be fed by their parents for several weeks after leaving the nest.

More Interesting Facts:

  • The Red Billed Toucan is the world’s second largest Toucan.

  • Toucans pick up food with their bills, throw it in the air and then catch it and swallow it.

  • The toucan’s tongue is long, narrow, and frayed at the tip to increase the bird’s sense of taste.

  • The call of these toucans sounds like ‘ku ya ke’.

At the Jungle Zoo: