Chestnut-Mandibled Toucan

The Chestnut-mandibled Toucan or Swainson’s Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) is a near-passerine bird which breeds from eastern Honduras to northern Columbia.

The Chestnut-mandibled is brightly marked and has a large bill. The male is 56cm long and weighs 750g (26.5 oz). The smaller female is typically 52cm long and weighs 580g (20.5 oz).

The sexes are alike in appearance, mainly black with maroon hints to the head, upper back and lower breast. The face and upper breast are bright yellow, with narrow white and broader red lines forming a lower border. The upper tail is white and the lower abdomen is red. The legs are blue. The body plumage is similar to that of the smaller Keel-billed Toucan, but the bill pattern is quite different, being diagonally divided into bright yellow and maroon.

Juvenile birds are sooty-black, and have duller plumage, particularly with respect to the bib, red border, and lower mandible. They are fed by the parents for several weeks after leaving the nest.

The call of the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan is a yelping yo-YIP, a-yip, a-yip, or a Dios te dé, Dios te dé.

Chestnut-mandibled Toucans are second only to Tocos in their calm nature and easy manner. Their great intelligence lends them to easy training and they may be taught a variety of tricks including playing catch, mid air somersaults, and free flying Chestnut-mandibled can be potty trained to only go in their cage. They love to play with toys and will entertain you for hours with their antics. They are very affectionate and will cuddle in your lap, making a soft purring sound as they are petted.

Chestnut-mandibled are long lived toucans living to 25 years or more, when properly cared for.

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buy toucan online

buy toucan online. The Chestnut-mandibled Toucans or Swainson Toucans (Ramphastos swainsonii) are the second largest Toucans in the world – being only slightly smaller than the Toco Toucans (Ramphastos toco). Their most obvious feature is their massive bill.

This Latin American species is replaced from southern Colombia to eastern Peru by the similar and closely related Black-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus), with which it is considered conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species). These two species can readily be differentiated by their different sizes and bill pattern / coloration. Another toucan species found within their range is the Keel-billed Toucan; however, even though the plumage coloration is also quite similar, the latter can easily be identified by the smaller size and – above all – distinctive, multi-colored bill.

Their natural range stretches from Central America to the Northwestern coast of South America.

In the United States, these toucans are very popular in aviculture and as pets; and they are the most readily-available large toucan species. They are, however, quite noisy compared to other toucans and require an elaborate set-up to accommodate them.


They inhabit tropical lowland rain forests, but can also occupy gallery forests, plantations, parks or gardens with trees suitable for nesting, roosting and feeding. They tends to occupy the canopies of forests, but are also commonly seen flying among the clearings or semi-open areas among the trees.

These birds are typically seen in pairs (particularly when breeding); and outside the breeding season in small family groups or flocks of 3 to 12 birds. They often follow Keel-billed Toucans to take advantages of their food sources.


The large Chestnut-mandibled Toucans have massive, brightly marked bills that can grow up to 7.8 inches (~ 20 cm) long. buy toucan online.

Males and females are identical, except for a small size difference. Males measure from 21.7 – 23.6 inches (55 – 60 cm) in length – including the tail, and weigh about 26.5 oz (750 g). The smaller females are 19.7 – 20.9 inches (50 – 53 cm) long, and weigh about 20.5 oz (580 grams).

The plumage is mainly black with hints of maroon on the head, upper back and lower chest. The face, throat and upper chest are bright yellow, and form the shape of a bib. This “bib” is bordered by a narrow white line followed by a broader red band. The rump is white and the lower abdomen and lower tail feathers (vent) are red.

The bicolored bill is mostly bright yellow above; the base of the bill is dark red turning into dark maroon color and blackish towards the tip of the lower bill.


Breeding mostly occurs from early April to early June.

Chestnut-billed Toucans usually make their nests in unlined cavities high in decayed sections of dead or living trees, or occasionally in old woodpecker nests. Since their bills are not suitable for excavating holes, they have to rely on existing cavities.

The 2-4 glossy white eggs are laid on a few wood chips created while enlarging the opening and on various kinds of regurgitated seeds collected for this purpose.

Parents share equally in the incubation of the eggs, but rarely sit on the nest for more than an hour at a time and the eggs are often left uncovered. The incubation period is about 17 – 19 days to hatching.

The nestlings are born blind, with no trace of down on their pink skin. The chicks have pads on their elbows that protect and keep them elevated from the rough and damp floor. The bill is unremarkable until about 16 days old when it takes on the distinguishing features of the toucan, and requires up to four months to develop fully. Feathers begin to expand at 4 weeks. They young fledge when they are about 5 – 6 weeks old. Both parents share in feeding fruit to the babies for up to 9 weeks, at which time they are usually self-feeding.

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