Toucans in Costa Rica

The toucan is, alongside the quetzal, one of the most sought-after birds by travelers in Costa Rica. The toucan is frequently used as a promotional image, especially the Keel-billed Toucan, as it is the most well-known and photographed toucan species in Costa Rica.

Easily recognizable by its 16 cm colorful beak and yellow neck, the Keel-billed Toucan is commonly observed in the mountains of Guanacaste, on the Nicoya Peninsula, and along the Caribbean coast.

Toucans are very sociable and rarely travel alone. They are usually found in small groups of 6 to 12 individuals. Each group consists of an adult couple accompanied by multiple generations of offspring. These groups move through the forest, searching for food together. At night, they nest together in a comfortable nest, often inside a hollow tree trunk. Such holes are tight, but the birds tuck their beaks under their wings and raise their tails to save space.

These birds spend about 40 percent of their time searching for food. They eat not only fruits but also insects, small lizards, and bird eggs.

Despite their spectacular appearance, these toucans have relatively unimpressive calls. Their cries resemble simple frog croaks and dry rattles.

The Keel-billed Toucan is the most well-known, but it is not the only species of toucan in Costa Rica, which has a total of 6 different species. Many other species exist in Central and South America.

toucan costa rica

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