Toucans are in my top-ten list of favorite birds. I mean, look at them; they have huge colorful beaks. Of course, we can’t forget the Fruit Loops Mascot, a toco toucan.

These colorful birds are even more colorful than you might realize. Did you know that there are approximately 40 birds in the toucan family? From the small araçari to the large toco toucan, they come in nearly every color in the rainbow.

Here are a few cool facts about them:

  • Their beak helps them thermoregulate. More than just a mouth, that beak is made up of bony fibers covered in keratin. When they get hot, more blood flows through their beak. Is that toucan getting cold? Just the opposite happens. It’s a wonder of nature!
  • Most toucan species are frugivorous. This means that they eat fruit. However, some species will get a little creative with their diet mating season and add a few bugs into the mix for the protein. A few species are omnivores and eat pretty much anything. The curlcrested araçari will even eat eggs or baby birds, given the chance.
  • Their beaks aren’t hard, unlike a macaw or a parrot. They’re much softer because of the way they’re made.

I’ve always been fascinated by toucans, their name is a bit of a mystery still, but I’m working on it. The answer will be in the book!

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