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Picture by Mason Fischer. May 2003.

Keel-billed Toucan

Sometimes called the Rainbow-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), it prefers to live in the Caribbean lowlands and is uncommon on the Pacific slope. Traveling in flocks of up to six, it makes its way through the upper levels of the forest looking for berries, insects and small snakes to feed upon.

The male measures 47cm long, with the female slightly smaller. They are appear mostly black, with some maroon and olive color on their backs and bellies; white and red tails; bright yellow faces and necks with chartreuse around the eyes; and bright blue legs. Their bills are most colorful with yellow, green, orange, and greenish-blue, a maroon tip and a black line encircling the base.

The Keeled-billed Toucan flies by first closing its wings completely; followed by short, rapid beats, then spreading its wings and gliding. Its voice sounds similar to a croaking or the creaking of something wooden or mechanical. In a flock, it may sound like a pondful of frogs but when threatened, the toucan makes a very aggressive, short, castanetlike sound. It will find a deep hollow tree or cavity to make its nest between January-May. See Tortuga Lodge information and prices.
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Resplendent Quetzal Red-eyed Tree Frog Keel-billed Toucan Scarlet Macaw Squirrel Monkey