Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Yellow-throated Toucan Ramphastos ambiguus

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Ramphastidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Ari A. Rice, Jason D. Weckstein, and J. Engel


The only available data on breeding of Yellow-throated Toucan refers to the northern subspecies, swainsonii.

Breeding season length:

Breeding season varies depending on latitude: March-June in Costa Rica (where fledglings are reported in May), January-July in Panama and Colombia, and December-May in Ecuador (Short and Horne 2001).

Nests and nest-building:

Yellow-throated Toucans are cavity-nesters, but incapable of excavating. They nest hollow tree cavities where decay has caused the wood to rot (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Accounts have been published for only two nests, both of which indicate that Yellow-throated Toucans nest very high above the ground (between 9 and 30 meters) (Skutch 1972).

Clutch size and eggs:

Clutch size is believed to be two or three eggs (Short and Horne 2001). Eggs and nest contents remain undescribed.

Incubation and nestling period:

No information.

Renesting, multi-brooding, and invervals between nests:

No information.

Parental care:

From the few records available, both parents are known to care for the young and defend the nest. Skutch (1972), for instance, observed an adult toucan flying out of the nest and driving off a kinkajou (Potus flavus).

Juvenile development:

No information.

Brood parasitism:

No information.

Recommended Citation

Rice, A. A., J. D. Weckstein, and J. Engel (2010). Yellow-throated Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus), version 2.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.