Toucans hail from the forests of South America. Ideally, they should be kept in large, spacious aviaries with plenty of room to fly. If the aviary is outside, it should be temperature controlled to protect the tropical birds from cold temperatures. The aviary should have trees and foliage growing in it to provide the birds with natural habitat.
The diet of the Toco toucans consists mostly of fruit, but the birds will occasionally eat insects, eggs, lizards, and small birds. They should be fed a diet is rich in fresh, clean, chemical-free fruits and plant material. They can be sometimes given live insects in their aviaries as a source of nutrients and an enrichment activity.
Breeding Toco Toucans
Toucans are monogamous and mate during the spring. The females lay two to four eggs which hatch in 15 to 18 days. The babies stay in the nest for six to eight weeks until they grow their feathers and their trademark beak. Toucan young reach sexual maturity at three to four years of age.
Toucans are the largest of all the toucans and they have the widest distribution of any toucan species, ranging throughout Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia to the South, Peru to the West, and as far north as Guyana and Surinam. Tocos were first bred in captivity at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC in 1976 and since then they have been bred in a number of zoos and private collections across the U.S. They lay 3-4 white elliptical-shaped eggs in a hollow nest log. Incubation lasts 16 days with young fledging at 46-50 days of age. Toco Toucans are the longest-lived toucan at 30 years and the most intelligent. They are the only toucan seen in movies and in free flight bird shows and make fantastic pets – the best of all the toucan species.
The best-known of the toucan species, the Toco toucan boasts a colorful, over-sized bill. Both males and females of the species have these large bills, which can be as long as seven and a half inches. They use their bills to reach food in trees and will toss little food treats to each other during courtship rituals.