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Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus

Photo contributed by: Francis Swarts

Keel-billed Toucan

(Ramphastos sulfuratus)

The most obvious characteristic of the toucan is the huge yellow, orange, red, green and black bill. The toucan's bill is amazingly dextrous and allows the bird to feed on a variety of tropical forest fruits. The Keel-billed toucans are a very social bird and can often be seen in flocks of six or more birds. They are found throughout Belize's forests and nest in holes in tree trunks. They lay one to four eggs and the parent birds take turns incubating the eggs. This bird displays a rapid, heavy flapping of the wings when flying and calls with a creek creek sound, similar to a frog. Toucans are primarily fruit eaters, feeding on a wide variety of tropical fruits of the forest. It feeds by snipping off the fruit and flipping its head back to gulp the fruit. Toucans will also feed on insects, lizards, snakes and even the eggs of smaller birds.

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