Bird Families

Tukanet Derby / Aulacorhynchus derbianus


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Ramphastidae Vigors, 1825

Tukanovye (lat.Ramphastidae) is a family of birds of the order woodpecker. Toucans have a disproportionately large, laterally compressed, brightly colored beak. However, the beak itself, despite its size, is relatively light due to its porous structure. The largest representatives of the order of woodpeckers. There are 37 species of birds, grouped into 6 genera.

Toucans inhabit the lowland and mountain (up to 3000 m) tropical forests of America from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. They nest in natural holes or hollows carved by woodpeckers.

These birds got their name due to the fact that representatives of one of their species shout something like "tokano!"


Large toucan (Ramphastos toco) toucan

A noisy bird living in the rainforest. It is easily recognizable by its huge and very light yellow beak, the length of which reaches almost half the length of the body. This bird does not know how to fly well and far, therefore it spends most of its time in hollow trees. Notable for its appearance. The first thing that catches your eye is the disproportionately large, brightly colored beak. The large beak does not cause any inconvenience to the bird: it is very light due to the presence of pneumatic cavities in it. The inside of the beak is made of porous, foamy bone tissue, the outside is made of keratin. The beak is abundantly supplied with blood vessels, since it plays an important role in the thermoregulation of toucans. The beak of a toucan is very different from that of an adult bird. In chicks, it is flat, and the lower jaw is somewhat longer and wider than the upper one, this facilitates the grasping of food thrown by adult birds. The tongue of toucans is long, its front part and edges are fringed, which gives it a feathery appearance. The skin around the corners of the mouth and around the eyes is not feathery and brightly colored. Contrasting color of plumage. Usually, on the main black background of most of the plumage, there are various bright areas. The legs and eyes of these birds are painted in bright colors. There are toucans, colored so brightly that in this respect they are not inferior to the brightest parrots. Toucans are hardly noticeable among forest greenery, especially when they sit quietly in the crowns of trees after feeding: you might think that a large bright butterfly peeps out of the foliage. The tail of toucans, as a rule, is short, straight cut, consists of 10 tail feathers. In some species, it is rather long and stepped, that is, the outer tail feathers are the shortest, the following are longer, etc., and the middle pair of tail feathers is the longest. The short and wide wings each have 11 primary flight feathers. The legs are strong and large, four-toed, adapted for climbing trees.

Because of their awkward large body and huge beak, toucans fly quite hard. Having taken off, the bird gains altitude, and then plans in the desired direction, describing wide circles in the air. These birds avoid flights over long distances. All the time toucans spend in the crowns of large trees, where they feed on fruits. Birds are curious, they chase birds of prey together and gather in large flocks, trying to help a fellow wounded or captured by a predator.


The family includes the following genera and species:

  • Andigena toucans (Andigena)
    • Black-headed Andigena (Andigena cucullata)
    • Andigena blue (Andigena hypoglauca)
    • Flat-billed Andigena (Andigena laminirostris)
    • Black-billed Andigena (Andigena nigrirostris)
  • Tukanets (Aulacorhynchus)
    • Gray-billed toucanet (Aulacorhynchus coeruleicinctis)
    • Tukanet Derby (Aulacorhynchus derbianus)
    • Red-tailed toucanet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus)
    • Yellow-browed toucanet (Aulacorhynchus huallagae)
    • Emerald toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)
    • Blue-faced toucanet (Aulacorhynchus sulcatus)
  • Arasari (Pteroglossus)
    • Brown-eared arasari (Pteroglossus castanotis)
    • Light-billed arasari (Pteroglossus erythropygius)
    • Green arasari (Pteroglossus viridis)
    • Pteroglossus azara
    • Two-lane aracari (Pteroglossus bitorquatus)
    • Brown-billed arasari (Pteroglossus mariae)
    • Curled arasari (Pteroglossus beauharnaesii)
    • Multi-striped aracari (Pteroglossus pluricinctus)
    • Pteroglossus frantzii
    • Collared arasari (Pteroglossus torquatus)
    • Striped arasari (Pteroglossus sanguineus)
    • Pteroglossus inscriptus
    • Black-throated aracari (Pteroglossus aracari)
    • Gold-breasted andigena (Pteroglossus bailloni)
  • Toucans (Ramphastos)
    • Yellow-throated toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus)
    • Ramphastos brevis
    • Lemon-throated toucan (Ramphastos citreolaemus)
    • Blue-faced toucan (Ramphastos culminatus)
    • Cuvier toucan (Ramphastos cuvieri)
    • Red-breasted toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus)
    • Rainbow toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
    • Large toucan (Ramphastos toco)
    • White-chested toucan (Ramphastos tucanus)
    • Ariel toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus)
  • Selenide toucans (Selenidera)
    • Guiana Selenidera (Selenidera culik)
    • Selenidera gouldii
    • Selenidera maculirostris (Selenidera maculirostris)
    • Selenidera nattereri
    • Gold-necked selenidera (Selenidera reinwardtii)
    • Yellow-eared selenidera (Selenidera spectabilis)

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Gray-billed toucanet (Aulacorhynchus coeruleicinctis)
Interesting - Birds
12.12.2011 19:30

A bird of the toucan family, in the same family is the famous and inimitable toucan. But the hero of today's story is somewhat different from him. Tukanet - a bird with bright dark green plumage, was first described by ornithologists in 1840. Like all representatives of the toucan family, this bird has a remarkable large beak, gray in color, contrasting with the plumage, for which it got its specific name.

Gray-billed toucanet inhabits Central and South America, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, prefers dense humid forests of the subtropics, at an altitude of 1500 to 2500 m above sea level, in the forests of the temperate zone it is less common. Its closest relative, the Derby toucanet (Aulacorhynchus derbianus), settles down to 1500 m above sea level. An adult gray-billed toucanet reaches a length of 40 cm, while a quarter of the length falls on the tail, a wingspan of almost 30 cm, body weight on average 200 g. Males and females do not differ from each other either in body size or color of plumage. But the size of the beak in males reaches 10 cm, while in females it is more modest, usually 7 cm.

The main color of the plumage of the gray-billed toucanet is bright green, on the back and wings it is darker than on the chest and belly. Among the large spots of a different color in color, one can name a light gray speck on the bird's throat and a dark brown color of feathers at the tip and base of the tail. Smaller specks of blue-oco are found on the underside of the chest and on the back of the head. The legs of the bird are light green or gray in color.

During the breeding season, gray-billed toucanets mate in pairs. They nest in tree hollows; there are usually two eggs in a clutch. The rest of the time they live in small flocks.

The basis of the diet of these birds are fruits and berries, one of their favorite delicacies is the fruits of the tree of the genus Cecropia, in whose crown they are often seen. As a source of protein food, a variety of insects and larvae can be present in the diet of toucanets.

Today the toucanet, like many exotic birds, is an object of fishing. Despite the fact that the bird needs to create conditions close to the subtropical climate, toucanets are very popular with exotic collectors.