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White-throated Toucan

White-throated Toucan

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The White-throated Toucan (Ramphastos tucanus) is a near-passerine bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

 found throughout the Amazon
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

 in south-eastern Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, eastern Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, eastern Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, northern Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, southern and eastern Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, northern and western Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, including the Amazon Basin
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

's adjacent Tocantins-
Tocantins River
The Tocantins is a river in Brazil, the central fluvial artery of the country. In the Tupi language, its name means "toucan's beak" . It runs from south to north for about 2,640 km. It is not really a branch of the Amazon River, although usually so considered, since its waters flow into the...

Araguaia River
Araguaia River
The Araguaia River or, in Portuguese, Rio Araguaia is one of the major rivers of Brazil, and the principal tributary of the Tocantins. It has a total length of approximately 2,627 km. Araguaia means "river of macaws" in the Tupi language....

 drainage, and the Guianas. It prefers tropical humid forest, but also occurs in woodland and locally in riverine forest within the Cerrado
Cerrado
The Cerrado, is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Gioas and Minas Gerais...

.

It was formerly considered to be two species, with the southern and western nominate subspecies, R. t. tucanus, named the Red-billed Toucan, and the northern and eastern subspecies, R. t. cuvieri, Cuvier's Toucan (when considered a species; R. cuvieri, Wagler
Johann Georg Wagler
Johann Georg Wagler was a German herpetologist.Wagler was assistant to Johann Baptist von Spix, and became Director of the Zoological Museum at the University of Munich after Spix's death in 1826...

, 1827). However, the two subspecies, which differ principally in the bill colour, interbreed freely wherever they meet and therefore merit only subspecies status. The subspecies R. t. inca from Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 is of questionable validity and may represent a stable hybrid population between tucanus and culminatus.

Description


Like other toucan
Toucan
Toucans are members of the family Ramphastidae of near passerine birds from the Neotropics. The family is most closely related to the American barbets. They are brightly marked and have large, often colorful bills. The family includes five genera and about forty different species...

s, the White-throated Toucan is brightly marked and has a huge bill. It has a total length of 50–61 cm (20–24 in) and weighs 540-700 grams (1.2-1.6 lbs). The bill is typically 14–18 cm (5½–7 in) long. The only species of toucan that surpasses it in size is the Toco Toucan
Toco Toucan
The Toco Toucan is the largest and probably the best known species in the toucan family. It is found in semi-open habitats throughout a large part of central and eastern South America...

.

It has black plumage with a white throat and breast bordered below with a narrow red line. The rump is bright yellow and the crissum is red. The bare skin around the eye is blue. The bill has a yellow tip, upper ridge and base of the upper mandible, and the base of the lower mandible is blue. The rest of the bill is mainly black in R. t. cuvieri and mainly reddish-brown in R. t. tucanus, with intergrades showing a mixed coloration. Males are larger and longer-billed than females, but otherwise the sexes are alike.

Juveniles
Juveniles
Juvenile may refer to:* Juvenile * Minor * Children's literature* Children's clothing...

 are noticeably shorter-billed, more sooty-black, and have duller plumage.

The White-throated Toucan of the race cuvieri is virtually identical to the related Channel-billed Toucan
Channel-billed Toucan
The Channel-billed Toucan is a near-passerine bird which breeds in Trinidad and in tropical South America as far south as southern Brazil and central Bolivia.-Taxonomy:...

 of the race culminatus, but the latter is smaller and has a proportionally shorter bill with a more strongly keeled culmen. The call is often the best distinction between the species. White-throated has a yelping eeoo, hue hue, whereas Channel-billed has a croaking song.

Behaviour


Small flocks or more commonly pairs of birds move through the forest with a heavy, rather weak, undulating flight, rarely flying more than 100 m (330 ft) at a time. This species is primarily an arboreal fruit-eater, but will also take insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s, lizard
Lizard
Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with nearly 3800 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica as well as most oceanic island chains...

s, bird eggs, and other small vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

 prey.

Breeding


The 2–4 white eggs are laid in an unlined cavity high in a decayed section of a living tree, or in an old woodpecker
Woodpecker
Woodpeckers are near passerine birds of the order Piciformes. They are one subfamily in the family Picidae, which also includes the piculets and wrynecks. They are found worldwide and include about 180 species....

 nest in a dead tree.

Both sexes incubate the eggs for at 14–15 days, and the toucan chicks remain in the nest after hatching. They are blind and naked at birth, with short bills, and have specialised pads on their heels to protect them from the rough floor of the nest. They are fed by both parents, and fledge after about 6 weeks. The parents continue feeding the juveniles for several weeks after they have left the nest.

External links


  • Extensive Gallery on Toucans
  • Hear this bird sing
  • White-throated Toucan videos, photos & sounds on the Internet Bird Collection
  • Stamps-"Ramphastos tucanus" (for Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

    , Guyana
    Guyana
    Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

    , Peru
    Peru
    Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

    , Suriname
    Suriname
    Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

    ) with (~)RangeMap
  • Ramphastos tucanus-"Red-billed Toucan" photo gallery VIREO Photo-High Res
  • Photo-High Res--(forest bird, perched); Article tekipaki.jp