The Conference Call of the Birds | Keel-Billed Toucan
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Keel-Billed Toucan

Keel-Billed Toucan

National bird of Belize

About This Bird

Keel-Billed Toucan

Ramphastos sulfuratus

Belize

The Keel-Billed Toucan, also known as the Sulphur-Breasted Toucan or the Rainbow-Billed Toucan is the national bird of Belize.

This bird is eye-catching due to its rainbow-coloured beak and bright blue feet – the rest of the bird is mainly black feathers. The Keel-Billed Toucan can grow to 55cm long, but an entire third of that length is its beak alone! The beak looks heavy and cumbersome but it is made of a spongy, hollow bone, covered in keratin, a light and hard protein which is the main component of our nails and hair.

These birds live in hollows in trees with many other toucans. In order to squeeze in more birds they tuck their beaks and tails under their bodies as they huddle up.

They typically lay between 1-4 eggs and the incubation period is 15-20 days. When the chicks are born it is a further 3 weeks before they open their eyes or develop feathers, so they take a lot of caring for. This care is divided equally between the male and female birds, who take it in turns to feed the young.

The Toucan’s diet consists mainly of insects, small birds and lizards.