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Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Husbandry at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

(Fatima Lujan, personal communication, 2018)


  • Curious but shy
    • Investigate new enrichment objects

Shelter requirements

  • Trees with lots of leaves
  • High places to perch
    • Active birds; move from branch to branch frequently

Diet and feeding

  • Food items
    • Food pellets formulated for hornbills
    • Fresh fruit (e.g., banana, papaya, melon, apple, pear)
  • Usually fed once per day; more often if breeding


  • Nest boxes for egg incubation
  • Long introduction period used to ensure mate compatibility


  • Cardboard piñatas filled with food pellets and fruit
  • Mirrors in which to observe reflection
    • Elicit natural vocalizations

Large Bill, Small Seed

Toco Toucan holding seed in mouth

Toco Toucan at the San Diego Zoo.

Toco Toucans are curious, active birds. They enjoy food-filled piñatas, mirrors, and other enrichment items.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

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