A Beautiful Keel-Billed Toucan Keeps a Watchful Eye in Panama
by Robert Montenegro
It turns out there’s a lot more to toucans than pitching Fruit Loops and Guinness. Check out the Sites below to learn all about these very popular, very colorful tropical birds.
Via WAZA (the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums):
“Their beak’s [sic] serrated edges help the toucans hold fruit or other food at the tip, which then is thrown into their throat with an upward toss of the head. The long beak also helps to pluck fruits that are on branches too thin to hold their weight, as they reach far out from their perch on thicker branches.”
“Even though these beaks appear large and cumbersome, they are actually very light (yet strong), as they are made out of spongy and hollow bones that are covered in keratin (a light protein that also makes up human hair and finger nails).”
“The keel-billed toucan is the national bird of Belize, where it is commonly seen outside of restaurants asking for handouts.”