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Toco Toucan

(Ramphastos toco)


South America

Species Info:

Tocos are the most recognized and the largest of the 37 species of Toucan measuring around 63 centimeters and weighing 650 – 700 grams. They live in small groups during most of the year and separate into pairs during the breeding season. Their nests are made in tree cavities near the forest canopy. A toco’s diet consists primarily of fruit, and they consume fruits from as many as 100 species of plants and trees. They also dine on insects and bird eggs as well as tree dwelling lizards and frogs. In captivity their diet must be closely managed for iron content since their bodies store it, which can result in iron toxicity. Toucan feet are different from most arboreal birds in that two of their toes point forward and two backward.

On Exhibit:

There is only one Toco Toucan at Knoxville Zoo. During warm weather, this toucan is on exhibit in the old Kid’s Zoo circle and in the winter he lives in a run at the Bird Department office. You may see him in the outside run, watching you watching him.