Toucans are well known for their large and colorful beaks. They have a long lifespan, with many birds living more than 25 years. However, Toucans are quite rare in the United States, so bird enthusiasts may have many questions that can be difficult to find answers to, and one of the ones we get most often is what do these colorful birds eat. In general, Toucans have similar diet in the wild and in captivity, which consists of fruits, insects, invertebrates, rodents, and some vegetables.
What Is a Toucan?
Toucans are colorful birds with large, long beaks that will also have bright colors. Several species of Toucan range in size from 11 inches to more than 25-inches tall. The bill is usually longer than half its body length but remains extremely light. It helps the Toucan regulate its body temperature more efficiently and allows them to reach deep into tree holes to get food out of reach of other birds. The bill might also help them look more intimidating to other birds. Toucans can touch their head with their tail which is how they sleep, appearing as a ball of feathers.
What Does A Wild Toucan Eat?
Toucans are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat. Usually, they opt to eat whatever kind of fruit they can find, so their diet likely contains plenty of prickly pears, guava, dragon fruit, mamey sapote, guanabana, and many others. They will also eat insects, small birds, small reptiles, and more. They prefer animal protein for feeding their young.
What Does A Captive Toucan Eat?
Captive toucans will have a similar diet to what they eat in the wild. Toucans can be fed bananas, apples, papaya, pear, mango, melons, and other fruits available. A number of insects are required to make sure it gets the proper amount of animal protein. Toucans will hunt any insects that enter its cage or enclosure. Hunting is fun to watch, and it helps this bird get the exercise it needs.
There are also several brands of commercial toucan food that can be purchased for birds in captivity that will help provide a balanced diet.
What Should a Captive Toucan Avoid?
Toucans cannot eat citrus fruit or tomatoes. These foods can lead to excess iron storage in their bodies and can be fatal. Their diet should be free of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, Haruka, tangerines, and many other types of citrus fruit.
Other Interesting Facts
The Toucans diet is easy to maintain and consists mainly of fruits and some animal protein. However, location and accessibility will determine what each bird feeds on regularly.
We hope you have enjoyed this short guide, and it has helped answer your questions. If we have helped inform you of a Toucans healthy diet, please share this guide on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit by NatureForGirls, Pixabay