What Is a Toucan's Prey?

By Naomi Millburn

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Toucans are birds who originate in South America and Central America. The family Ramphastidae creatures are visually remarkable due to their immense beaks. Thirty-four individual toucan species exist, all of which are similar in many ways and distinct in others. One thing common among them is that toucans like their fruit.

Mostly Frugivores

For the most part, toucans are frugivores. This means that fruit is their favorite form of sustenance. Figs and guavas are examples of fruits they regularly eat. They have penchants for especially mellow fruit. Their angular bills are handy for fruit consumption, as they can employ them to crush food items. Toucans sometimes cut dangling fruit directly off trees using their bills. They proceed to toss their food up in front of them to catch it in their mouths.

Toucan Prey

Fruit undeniably makes up a massive portion of the toucan feeding plan, these birds do venture off into the realms of other food sometimes. They prey on certain animals, including fish, lizards, frogs, snakes, bugs, spiders and tiny birds. They sometimes even stealthily snatch up eggs from different birds' nests. Some examples of insects toucans eat include termites, cicadas and crickets. Because of their habit of occasionally munching on flesh, toucans aren't strict frugivores or herbivores, but rather omnivores.

Bills and Prey

Toucans' bills are useful for more than helping them easily feed on fruit. They serve predation, as well. They can use their beaks to seize their prey targets, of course; also, since the sides of their beaks are jagged, they can use them to skin prey animals.

Food Search Style

Toucans begin each day with treks to fruit trees, bright and early. For these dawn jaunts, they generally remain within their normal stomping grounds. After they do this, they usually gear up to travel further in the quest for new and undiscovered sources of fruit. When it comes to members of their social circles, toucans usually aren't greedy about food. They often even playfully distribute their meals, hurling pieces of things directly into others' mouths.

Photo Credits

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