Category: Birds

Yellow – throated toucan


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Taxonomy: (Ramphastos ambiguus)
Spanish Name: Tucán pechigualdo
Other Common Names: Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Black-mandibled Toucan (considered subspecies)
Conservation Status: Near Threatened
Lifespan: Yellow-throated Toucans can live up to 20 years.
Distribution: From Nicaragua to the far northwestern corner of South America.
Habitat: Tropical and sub-tropical regions.
Behavior: From Nicaragua to the far northwestern corner of South America.
Weight: 584-746 grams
Diet: Toucans have a varied diet that includes large amounts of fruits, insects and other invertebrates, small mammals, and are well-known for raiding the nests of other birds. They will eat both the eggs and the babies from smaller birds' nests.
Reproduction: In Costa Rica, the breeding period for the Yellow-throated Toucan is March to June, and they are cavity-nesters who make use of rotted wood in trees since they are not true excavators. Though both male and female care for and defend the nestlings, not much is known about incubation length and number of eggs laid, though it is suspected to be two to three eggs at a time. When the eggs hatch, the young emerge completely naked, without any down. Toucans are resident breeders and do not migrate. Toucans are usually found in pairs or small flocks. They sometimes fence with their bills and wrestle, which scientists hypothesize they do to establish dominance hierarchies.
Threats: Yellow-throated Toucans are affected most profoundly by habitat loss generated by the encroachment of farmland.
At Alturas: At Alturas, we provide refuge for one toucan, named Raul, who was confiscated from the pet trade. He was young when he first came to us, so we hoped that he might not have become imprinted on humans, but our attempts to release him have not been successful. He has decided for himself that he wants to be a permanent member of the sanctuary family.