T is for Toucan

Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

You can’t help but smile when you see a Toucan. It’s wonderfully colourful beak would brighten up anyone’s day.

This is the Keel-Billed Toucan and hails from Southern Mexico. Social birds, they live in groups of up to 12 other toucans. Although looking cumbersome their beaks are made of keratin. The same material as our own hair, nails etc is made of.

Their wing beats are six to ten as opposed to the Shoebill, who featured yesterday, whose beats are 155 flaps per minute which originally I thought was slow. How wrong I was.

Toucan’s duel with each other with their bills, throw fruit into each others mouths and even play ball, one throwing fruit into the air and the other catching it.

For the keen stamp collectors amongst you, they appear on the stamps for seven different countries.

Not into stamps but love reading? Then here, thanks to Wikipedia, are the books where toucans will turn up. Including the delightfully sounding 64 Zoo lane, where a girl called Lucy lives next door to a zoo and gets told a bedtime story by a different animal each night. And here is the story from Tallulah the toucan!

I can’t imagine it being too delightful waking up to the dawn chorus from a collection of toucans as to me they sound rather creaky.   But it certainly is a bird full of colour and personality thus making it a huge contrast to the Shoebill.

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