Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Ramphastidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Carolyn W. Sedgwick


Toco Toucans nest in cavities, including natural cavities in hollow palms, in stream banks, and in terrestrial termite nests excavated by Campo Flickers Colaptes campestris (Short and Horne 2001, 2002). In captivity, nests are initially kept clean but later are filled with fruits pits and droppings (Short and Horne 2001).

Clutches typically consist of 2-4 eggs.  Captive birds can produce multiple broods each year, but little has been reported about multiple breeding attempts from toucans in the wild. The incubation period lasts around 17-18 days with both parents taking turns incubating the eggs (Short and Horne 2001, 2002). Upon hatching, nestlings are fed mostly insects initially and then more fruits as nestlings increase in age. Fledging of chicks occurs after 43-52 days.

Timing of breeding varies significantly with location but breeding periods are described in the following areas by Short and Horne (2001):

-September-January: Amazon and Maranhão

-September-February: São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro,  Parana, and Paraguay

-October-February: eastern Argentina and Rio Grande do Sul

-November-February:  Goiás, Minas Gerais, and Bahia

-December-June: Bolivia and western Argentina

-May-June: Piauí

Recommended Citation

Sedgwick, C. W. (2010). Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.