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15 Amazing Toco Toucan Facts You Never Knew

How much do you know about the mighty Toco Toucan? It's time to see with our incredible Toucan facts! Discover lots of fun things about Toucans and learn something new!

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Beano Team
Last Updated:ย  October 13th 2022

Can one person learn loads of cool stuff about birds? No, but toucan! We've put together 15 amazing facts all about the Toco Toucan and its life! Find out where they live, what they eat, why they sleep on their backs, and why they're so rubbish at flying! And if you liked this, we've got loads of cool animal facts here! How about these slithery snake facts? Or if you're looking for more bird fun, check out these silly swan facts!

1. They Live In South America

Like all Toucans, tocos live in South America, mostly in rainforest areas, and in countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Peru and Argentina, amongst other places. Unlike other toucan species, they actually prefer more open spaces, and can often be found on the edge of forests or by rivers.

2. They Aren't Very Good At Flying

Toucans aren't very good flyers. They don't tend to fly a lot, and only really need to to get from one tree to another - you probably won't see any soaring majestically overhead any time soon!

3. They Live In Hollows

Toco toucans like to live in the hollows of trees, where they also feed on fruit and insects. However, they don't make the hollows themselves! Instead, they find ones that have been hollowed out by woodpeckers and then abandoned.

4. They Aren't Born With Big Beaks

Toco toucans actually start life with much smaller and more manageable beaks, which are much more in proportion to the rest of them. As they grow, the beak gets bigger and bigger until its the giant size we all recognise!

5. Their Beaks Can Be Up To 8 Inches Long

Toucans have the biggest beaks of any bird in comparison to the rest of their body - sort of like elephant ears or giraffe necks! Its size helps with foraging, eating and nest building.

6. They Are Masters of Camouflage

The reason toucans are such random fun colours is so that they can blend in with their forest surroundings! Their colours mimic that of trees, insects, plants and other birds! This helps keep them safe from predators.

7. They Have The Largest Bill-To-Body Ratio Of Any Bird

It's not hard to believe! These massive beaks are giant in comparison with the rest of the toucan, although they are also quite lightweight, which means that they don't hinder the toucan too much. They are made up of two parts, an inner and an outer part, and makes up one third of the toco's body!

8. They Are Very Adaptable

Toco toucans, like many other types of toucan, can quickly adapt to their environments, so that even if their habitat is being destroyed, they are quite good at finding somewhere new to live. This means that, in terms of conservation, they are currently in the 'least concern' category.

9. Their Beaks Aren't As Heavy As They Look

You might thinking that going around with a giant schnoz like that would weigh you down, but the beak is much lighter than it looks! It's actually filled with lots of tiny holes to ventilate it, and these also make the beak much lighter!

10. They Can Live Up To 20 Years

Toucans can live for as many as 20 years, which is a lot for a bird! This can depend on their environment though, and toucans face constant challenges such as predators and changing habitats.

11. Toucan Beaks Come In All Colours

But the toco has the most famous bill! Toucan's come in lots of different vibrant colours such as purple, blue, red and yellow, but it's the orange and black beak of the toco that is most instantly recognisable as a toucan!

12. Snakes And Jaguars Are Toucan's Predators

Sadly, toucans have to be on the look out for predators! These include any animals which can easily find its way up a tree, such as snakes and big cats, and also other birds like owls and eagles! Watch out!

13. They Are Mascots

Toco toucans are famous! Not only are they the national bird of Belize, but in Europe they are best known as the emblem for the Irish beer Guinness, and have been since the 1930s!

14. They Sleep On Their Backs

Due to the weight of their huge bills, toco toucans can usually be found napping on their backs! This means they don't have to hold their head (and therefore beak) up as they sleep!

15. They Are The Most Common Type Of Toucan

Although there are at least 40 different species of toucan out there, its the toco which is the most common, the most popular, and the most instantly recognisable!