Toucans are a world-famous bird because they are so jaw-droppingly shaped and colored. I’ll be posting more about Toucans of very types soon, but first, here’s a sample specimen, from our backyard.
All members of the toucan family (Ramphastidae) eat fruit, but also eat the eggs and nestlings of other birds if given a chance. Keel-billed toucans make a
In the fall, we didn’t realize what that sound was. Now we do, and when we hear it we grab the binocs and go toucan hunting.
Yesterday (Feb 22) we saw two of them.
At about 6:10am while we were getting ready for some exercise, we heard a krick-krick-krick-krick-krick-krick. Going out to look we first saw a whole flock of crested guans – think arboreal turkeys. They were passing through the neighborhood, tree to tree. There was also a lot of other bird noise, and it seemed may birds were upset. We followed the toucan call to the giant higueron (strangler fig) on the corner near the Colina lodge, and I saw it just as it few away. It was a Keel-Billed. I believe the keel-billed is the only one that lives at this altitude (~1800 m).
Then, later that afternoon, I was working at home when I heard the krick-krick-krick-krick-krick-krick sound again. I grabbed the binocs and climbed up the tree (a special thing in its own right) and scanned the what I could see of the valley below. My ears could then discern two birds alternating kricks. I saw one perched high on an old dead tree, and watched it fly off. Keel-billed again.
Today (Feb 23) we saw another.
On a morning walk with Katie we started down the Trocha (road to San Luis). We went far enough to get the first good view. The morning light illuminated the ridge coming down from Judy and Bruces, with dark hills in the background. On the way back up, we heard the telltale krick-krick-krick-krick-krick-krick, and scanned trees. After two tries we got the right angle and just saw it fly off over the road. Keel-billed.
So, I think it’s Toucan Season!
We’ll try to get some better shots of them soon.