Toucans – Scientific name: Ramphastidae from the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest.
Toco Toucan – Scientific name: Ramphastos toco
Yellow-ridged Toucan – Scientific name: Ramphastos vitellinus
Chestnut-eared Aracari – Scientific name : Pteroglossus castanotis
Every morning I would see the Toucans fly from their roosting trees to their feeding grounds. They flew in small flocks and often in pairs. Their flight was undulating, almost as if their bills were too large and heavy for them. They would glide, fall away from the others and then furiously flap their small wings to gain height and catch up.
Their diet consisted of fruit, insects, small animals and sometimes the small chicks and eggs of other birds. Their huge beaks came in useful to reach fruit hanging at the end of long branches. Despite their size, the beaks were very light, with a hollow structure.
Toucans nest in cavities in trees, often those made by woodpeckers.
All day I could hear the Toco or Yellow-ridged Toucans on a high tree. Their mournful cry could be heard echoing over the tree canopy.
The Toco had a black body,a bright orange bill, orange feathering around the eyes and a white throat. The Yellow-ridged Toucan also had a black body with a yellowish to white throat, a black beak with yellow and blue markings and blue feathering around the black eyes.
The Toco and Yellow-ridged Toucans rarely came close to the lodge, but perched high up in the canopy. The Chestnut-eared Aracari was, however, a daily visitor. perching close by the lodge. it made its presence known by its raucous call. The Aracari is smaller than the Toco and Yellow-Ridged Toucans, but of the same family. It is black with a yellow breast, slashed with a red band and red feathers above its tail. It too had a large beak with serrated edges.
It was a friendly, cheeky bird unafraid of me on my verandah enjoying its visits.
The first photo shows a Yellow-ridged Toucan from a distance, which was the way I usually saw them. The next two photos are of a Toco Toucan. The next of the Aracari. Note the serrated edges of the bill.