Animals

Channel-Billed Toucan: 19 Facts You Won't Believe!

Here are some channel-billed toucan facts for you to learn.
Share
Tweet

The channel-billed toucan is a rather beautiful species of bird from amongst all the varieties that we can find around the world. If you are wondering what gives them such a name, it is the channel-like groove on their large bill.

The population of this bird species is considered common in places such as Trinidad, southern Brazil, and central Bolivia where there are lowlands and forest canopies for them to inhabit. Some of the features that define this species are the large bill, yellow-orange chest, the red patch which differentiates the black body and yellow chest, and the blue or white skin around the eyes. They are also characterized by the typical croaking call that they make in order to communicate or while feeding!

If you would like to read about more animals from around the world, make sure to check out green heron and hamerkop here at Kidadl!

Channel-Billed Toucan

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects and reptiles

What do they eat?

Omnivore

Average litter size?

2-4 eggs

How much do they weigh?

11-15 oz (300-430 g)

How long are they?

19 in (48 cm)


How tall are they?

N/A


What do they look like?

Black, white, blue, and yellow-orange

Skin Type

Feathers

What are their main threats?

Habitat loss and hunting

What is their conservation status?

Vulnerable

Where you'll find them

Tropical forests

Locations

The Caribbean Islands, Trinidad, South America, southern Brazil, and central Bolivia

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Aves

Scientific Name

Ramphastos vitellinus

Family

Ramphastidae

Genus

Ramphastos

Channel-Billed Toucan Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a channel-billed toucan?

The channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) is a type of tropical bird that is appreciated for its colorful appearance and large bill. They are named after the unique groove on their upper bill.

What class of animal does a channel-billed toucan belong to?

In popular language, we classify these toucans as birds. However, scientifically, they belong to the class Aves.

How many channel-billed toucans are there in the world?

While the exact number of channel-billed toucans in the world is not known, the entire Toucan population amounts to more than 10,000 individuals as recorded in 2020. The keel-billed toucan, however, is considered to have an approximate population between 50,000-500,000 individuals.

Where does a channel-billed toucan live?

The channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) and its subspecies, such as the Ariel toucan and yellow-ridged toucan, prefer to live in the humid, tropical forests of South America, mainly Brazil. They prefer these temperatures because it is easy for them to regulate their own temperature through the advanced adaptive qualities of their large bills. They are most common in lowlands and they inhabit the middle range of the forest canopy.

What is a channel-billed toucan's habitat?

The range of the channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) extends between regions such as southern Brazil, central Bolivia, western Venezuela, the Caribbean Islands, Trinidad, and South America. The fact that the channel-billed toucan range map is so spread out also makes it easier for us to realise that the exact breeding time will differ with each location. They are also considered a common species in these tropical forest regions.

Who do channel-billed toucans live with?

While these toucans can sometimes make groups of more than 10, they are not colonial. They can mostly be found alone or in pairs with their mates. It is also very interesting that after the young ones are fully mature, they sometimes choose to stay with their family. If you ask us, we'd give a 10 for family values!

How long does a channel-billed toucan live?

The lifespan of an average channel-billed toucan is around a staggering 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

Channel-billed toucans are an oviparous species of birds which means that they breed by laying eggs. During the breeding season, the males and females court each other by mutual feeding of any fruit.

The female channel-billed toucan lays her eggs inside the tree hollow that it inhabits after the gestation period, and both the parents take up equal responsibility during the incubation period. Young channel-billed toucans are born blind and naked. They open their eyes later on and during the entire phase that they are bound to their nest, the parents feed their children.

Even after the young ones have matured enough to leave their nests and find their own fruit, the parents sometimes feed them. It is not uncommon for toucan children to remain in the family or inhabit the same regions after they have matured.

What is their conservation status?

The channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) is declared to be Vulnerable by the IUCN. This is because these beautiful creatures are facing the threat of habitat loss currently. They are also sometimes captured or hunted in some places which further threatens them.

Channel-Billed Toucan Fun Facts

What do channel-billed toucans look like?

The channel-billed toucan is characterized by the channel-like groove on its upper bill. The feathers on the upper regions of the body are largely black colored, with red colored feathers under the tail. This species has yellow-orange colored abdomens and black or dark blue lower abdomens, a red patch of feathers differentiates the latter part of the chest.

The vibrant color of its chest is also complimented by the blue or white patch of skin around the toucan's eyes. The bills are large and have the ability to act like a thermostat and regulate the temperature throughout the body of this beautiful species.

The channel-billed toucan, scientific name Ramphastos vitellinus, is considered a common species in South America and can sometimes form small groups with the same species.

How cute are they?

It is undeniable that the channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) and its subspecies of birds such as the yellow-ridged channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus) and Ariel channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus ariel) are very cute creatures. This bird species with the huge bills, yellow-orange colored chest, and brightly colored red patches is so beautiful that certain indigenous groups even think of these birds as spiritual incarnations.

How do they communicate?

The call of this bird species is termed as croaking. Their call is harsh to the ears and sometimes very noisy when they form small groups.

How big is a channel-billed toucan?

The channel-billed toucan bird is 19 in (48 cm) long. The size is almost the same as the Ariel toucan and channel-billed toucan (yellow-ridged). To give you a better perspective, the Martial eagle is about twice the size of these brightly colored birds and they are also almost five times the size of an European goldfinch.

How fast can a channel-billed toucan fly?

There are no records that tell us the exact speed at which this bird species can fly. However, it is known that their short, broad wings do not allow them to be great at flying.

How much does a channel-billed toucan weigh?

The average channel-billed toucan bird weighs around 11-15 oz (300-430 g). In comparison, the average black-browed albatross weighs about 10 times as our tree-dwelling bird species from South America and Trinidad.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for the channel-billed toucan's sexes. We can call them male channel-billed toucan birds and female channel-billed toucan birds. Both sexes have a similar upper and lower body coloration and the same huge, broad bill.

What would you call a baby channel-billed toucan?

A baby channel-billed toucan is called a nestling or chick.

What do they eat?

The diet of these toucans consists of any fruit that they can find in their tropical habitat. They use their broad bill as a pair of chopsticks and ingest the entire fruit at one go. They also feed on small insects and reptiles such as lava lizards.

Are they poisonous?

There is no evidence that would suggest that this bird species is poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Given their beautiful yellow-orange and red-colored body, people often tend to keep this bird species as pets. They are also very easy to take care of since you can just feed them any fruit that you might have at home. They prefer a tropical temperature and humid environment which is not too tough to achieve. However, they are a Vulnerable species so they should be allowed to live in the wild.

Did you know...

There are three subspecies of channel-billed toucans which were considered to be different species altogether until recently. Two of those subspecies are the Ariel channel-billed toucan and the yellow-ridged toucan.

The channel-billed toucan location range extends from South America and Trinidad to southern Brazil and central Bolivia.

These toucans live in the cavities of high trees.

These birds have a beautiful red patch under their yellow-orange chests.

The rarest toucan is considered to be the yellow-eared toucanet.

What is unique about the channel-billed toucan?

The most unique feature of these birds is the channel-like groove on the upper bill which gives them their name.

Is the channel-billed toucan endangered?

The channel-billed toucan is declared Vulnerable by the IUCN. This is because their habitat faces the threat of degradation. They are also threatened with the hunting habits of indigenous people.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our toco toucan facts and reddish egret facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Channel-billed toucan coloring pages.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.