Channel-billed Toucan
Channel-billed Toucan

Channel-billed Toucan

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The channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) is a near-passerine bird in the family Ramphastidae.  It occurs northwestern Colombia east across most of northern and central South America, including all of Amazonia; and also is found in the Atlantic Forests of southeastern Brazil. The Channel-billed Toucan is a rain forest canopy dweller that forages for fruit and insects.



The Channel-billed Toucan is easy to spot with its gigantic bill, black body, yellow and white breast, baby blue face and red bands on the tail and breast.


The breeding season is March until June. During courtship the male may feed the female. They nest in tree cavities. 2-4 white eggs are laid and are incubated about 18 days by both parents. Once born the bill takes several months to reach its full size.


The diet of channel-billed toucans consists mostly of a wide range of fruit, but may also include insects, eggs, nestlings and lizards, as well as small birds. The bill, surprisingly dexterous, allows this toucan to utilize a large variety of fruit that might not otherwise be reached. When eating the fruit, it uses its bill to dissect the fruit, and then tosses its head back to swallow the fruit whole.