Choco Toucan Ramphastos brevis

  • © Dave Wendelken

The Choco Toucan is a large toucan in the genus Ramphastos that is considered a “Choco” endemic, found in the Pacific lowlands and lower foothills of southwest Colombia and northwest Ecuador. Its very striking plumage includes black upperparts, a bright yellow throat and breast, a white rump, and red undertail coverts. The bill is black with a bright yellow culmen. It overlaps almost completely with the nearly identical Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsoni), and is best separated by its slightly smaller size, its black, as opposed to “chestnut” lower mandible, and most-importantly voice. Whenever there are two sympatric species or large toucans (particularly when they are identical in plumage), one is always a “croaker,” while the other is a “yelper.” In this case, Choco Toucan is clearly a “croaker.” It calls are very similar to those of Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulphuratus) of Central America, giving a series of croaking “grrrack…grrrack….grrrack….grrrack calls. Like other members of the genus Ramphastos, they move in small groups of 2-5 individuals, and nest in large cavities. Generally found in intact forest, but also frequent forest edge situations. They are often found foraging in fruiting trees. Males often work their way to the tops of large trees with emergent dead branches to call from, and they swish their heads back and forth while calling.

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© Jay McGowan

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Choco Toucan (Ramphastos brevis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: