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Keel-billed Toucan

Keel-billed Toucan
Photo Information
Copyright: Luis Vargas (Chiza) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-03-31
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/50 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-04-03 10:51
Viewed: 11679
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [Spanish]
Keel-billed Toucan
From Wikipedia

Ramphastos sulfuratus

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Piciformes

Family: Ramphastidae

Genus: Ramphastos

Species: R. sulfuratus

Binomial name
Ramphastos sulfuratus
Lesson, 1830
The Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), also known as Sulfur-breasted Toucan, Rainbow-billed Toucan, is a colorful South American bird with a large bill. It is the national bird of Belize.[1]


the Keel-billed Toucans ranges in length from around 17 to 22 inches (42-55 cm).[2] Their large and colorful bill averages around 5-6 in (12-15 cm), about one-third of its length. While the bill seems large and cumbersome, it is in fact a spongy, hollow bone covered in keratin, a very light and hard protein.

The plumage of the Keel-billed Toucan is mainly black with a yellow neck and chest. Molting occurs once per year.[3] It has blue feet and red feathers at the tip of its tail. The bill is mainly green with a red tip and orange sides.

Distribution and ecology
The Keel-billed Toucan can be found from Southern Mexico to Venezuela and Colombia. It roosts in the canopies of tropical, subtropical, and lowland rainforests, up to altitudes of 1,900 m.[4] It roosts in holes in trees,[3] often with several other toucans. This can be very cramped, so the birds tuck their tails and beaks under their bodies to conserve space while sleeping. Adding to the lack of space, the bottoms of the holes are often covered with pits from the fruit the toucans have eaten.[3]

Keel-billed is a very social bird, rarely seen alone. It travels in small flocks of approximately six to twelve individuals through lowland rainforests; it is a poor flyer, and moves mostly by hopping through trees. It has a family structure within the group. Birds will often "duel" with each other using their bills, and throw fruit into each other's mouths. As mentioned before, Keel-billed Toucans live together in these groups, often sharing cramped living quarters of holes in trees. Able to utiliuze human-altered habitat to some extent,[5] this widespread bird is considered to be a Species of Least Concern by the IUCN.[6]


Food and feeding

In captivity, Quintana Roo, Mexico.The diet of Keel-billed Toucans consists mostly of a wide range of fruit,[7] but may also include bird eggs, insects, lizards, and tree frogs. 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 pick the fruit, and then tosses its head back to swallow the fruit whole.

The female Keel-billed Toucan will usually lay a clutch of two to four (rarely one) white eggs. The male and female share in the caring of the eggs, both taking turns incubating.[3] The eggs hatch approximately 15-20 days after being laid. After hatching, the male and female again take turns feeding the chicks. When the chicks hatch, they have no feathers, and have their eyes closed for approximately three weeks. The chicks have adequately formed heel pads, which assist on the pit-covered bottom of the nest.[3] The chicks stay in their nest for approximately eight to nine weeks while their bills develop fully and they become ready to fly.

jlinaresp, MMM has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ikeharel: Hola IkeChiza 1 07-04 14:45
To AnimalExplorer: Hola amigoChiza 1 05-13 16:41
To PeterZ: Hola PeterChiza 1 04-11 21:04
To vanni2009: Hola VanniChiza 1 04-11 21:01
To MMM: Hola MichelChiza 1 04-11 21:00
To foozi: Hola FooziChiza 1 04-11 20:59
To jlinaresp: Hola JesúsChiza 1 04-10 09:42
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5132 W: 166 N: 13117] (49119)
  • [2010-04-03 10:58]
  • [+]

Hello Luis,
Beautiful photo of this Keel-billed Toucan in very nice colours. Good POV and composition.

Hello Luis,
Beautiful picture, excellent contrast and sharpness, beautiful colors.
Congratulations, thanks for sharing and Happy Easter
Hello Vanni

Hola Luis,
Bella captura, indudablemente la luz es uno de los aspectos mas llamativos de esta foto, es potente y elocuente para los detalles del ave. Saludos, Gracias por compartir. Jesús

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2010-04-08 5:54]
  • [+]

Hi Luis
Nice presentation of that Toucan.Excellent pov that give us an excellent view.Sharp image with great colors and nice pose from your subject
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-04-11 5:20]
  • [+]

Hi Luis,
what a stunning shot of this guy. Just like children painting, full of colours and artistic view. how I like its poae and stance. To me it is just like a dream seeing this bird.
very beautiful and excellent sharpness.
Beautiful indeed and congratulations for a stunning view.


Hola Luis,
My favorite softbill bird of all time and your image portrays "Him" beautifully! Your probably wondering how I can tell it's a male? Most people who studied the ramphastid species usually designate the male by the size of the beak, but that is not always the case as there has been cases where a female will display bigger ones at times. I can tell by the circumferance of the eye and it's orbital lobe in the bigger species but not the aracaris or the toucanets. In the states we are pushing more for the name "Rainbow-billed" than "Keel-billed" as it is more of a descriptive and suiting name for this particular species. There are several species that have the sulphur color on their breast and all big toucans have keeled shaped bills. Anyway TFS this wonderful image. :)

Bouna tardes, luis.
A beautiful Toucan with an impressive beak
as it trade-mark.
Great shot.

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