Channel billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus)

Channel-billed Toucan

[order] Piciformes | [family] Ramphastidae | [latin] Ramphastos vitellinus | [UK] Channel-billed Toucan | [FR] Toucan vitellin | [DE] Dottertukan | [ES] Tucan Picoacanalado | [IT] Tucano beccoscanalato | [NL] Groefsnaveltoekan


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Ramphastos vitellinus SA Amazonia, e, se Brazil
Ramphastos vitellinus ariel c and e Brazil south of the Amazon
Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus upper Amazonia from w Venezuela to n Bolivia
Ramphastos vitellinus vitellinus Venezuela, the Guianas and n Brazil north of the Amazon, Trinidad

Physical charateristics

Its upperparts, belly, tail and most of the bill are black, and the uppertail and undertail coverts are red. The bare eye-patch and bill base are blue, the throat is white, the central breast has a large orange-yellow spot and the lower breast a broad red band.

Listen to the sound of Channel-billed Toucan

[audio: Toucan.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 46 cm size max.: 56 cm
incubation min.: 16 days incubation max.: 18 days
fledging min.: 37 days fledging max.: 46 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


The Channel-billed Toucan is distributed throughout most of the Amazon Basin with a disjunct population in eastern Brazil.


Found in forest and woodland. Prefers humid regions, but locally extends into drier regions (esp. along rivers). Mainly in lowlands, but locally to an altitude of 1700 m.


The parents are both active in raising the young. The white eggs are laid in a high unlined tree cavity. There is have a gestation period of 18 days, and the parents both incubate for 15 to 16 days. However, they can be impatient sitters, often leaving their eggs uncovered for hours at a time. Newborn toucans remain in the nest after hatching. They are blind and naked at birth, and their eyes open after about 3 weeks. They have short bills and specialized pads on their heels to protect them from the rough floor of the nest. The feathers do not begin to expand until they are nearly 4 weeks old. They are helpless and unable to leave the nest for about 8 weeks, dependent upon both parents to feed them. After this, the young can care for themselves. They begin to leave the nest after 40 to 50 days, depending on size.

Feeding habits

Toucans eat fruit by snipping off the fruit with the tip of their large bill and then tossing the fruit backward into their throats, gulping it down whole. They prefer the ripest fruits. Because they eat the fruit whole, they are probably important seed dispersers in the rainforest. They can regurgitate or pass the seeds whole. They drink by dipping their bill in water and then raising it up and letting the water flow down into their mouths.
Toucans use their bills to fence with each other and toss berries.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 7,800,000 km2. The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘frequent’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Channel-billed Toucan status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range, but local movements known to occur.

Distribution map

Channel-billed Toucan range map


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *