Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Keel Billed Toucan

True Wild Life | Keel Billed Toucan | The keel billed toucan is also known as the rainbow billed toucan because of the colourful bill that the keel billed toucan has. The keel billed toucan's bill can reach lengths of nearly 20cm long and is around one third of the length of the keel billed toucan's body. The keel billed toucan's bill is one of the most colourful beaks in the bird world, and although it is more a green colour than anything else, the keel billed toucan's bill can be a mixture of green, red, yellow and orange in colour.

As with other species of toucan, the size of the keel billed toucan's bill does not affect the balance of the bird itself as it's bill is made out of a substance called keratin, which is extremely light but still very strong. Keratin is also the substance that makes up human hair and fingernails and can also be found in the teeth of many different animal species. The keel billed toucan is native to the jungles of South America where it lives in holes in the trees, often with several other keel billed toucan individuals. In order to ensure that there is enough space for them all, the keel billed toucan group all sleep with their beak and tail tucked under their body to create more room for the other birds.

The keel billed toucan has a diet that primarily consists of large quantities of different varieties of fruit and berries. However, due to the surprising dexterity of the keel billed toucan's bill, the keel billed toucan also feasts on bird eggs, insects, lizards, and tree frogs should the keel billed toucan feel peckish and in the absence of fruit. The keel billed toucan is an extremely sociable bird and is very rarely seen on it's own. As well as nesting together, the keel billed toucan travels in small flocks which usually contain between 6 and 15 keel billed toucan individuals. Despite what people think though, the keel billed toucan is not very good at flying and does most of its moving about by hopping between the tree branches.

A female keel billed toucan lays between 1 and 5 eggs in a hollow tree, which usually hatch within a few weeks. Both the male and female keel billed toucan incubate the eggs and both keel billed toucan parents also feed and look after their keel billed toucan chicks until they are old enough and strong enough to fend for themselves. Large birds of prey and humans are the keel billed toucan's main predators. However, many other animal species prey on the eggs of the keel billed toucan such as other birds, weasels, snakes and the occasional monkey.

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