What Is the Life Cycle of a Toucan?

Toucans, found in and around the tropical forests of Central and South America, reach maturity within the first two months of life and can begin breeding. Toucans can live to be approximately 20 years old.

Toucans live in flocks of about six. They mate in the spring and are thought to be completely monogamous during the reproduction process. Approximately two to three weeks after mating, females lay between two and four eggs and incubate them for two weeks before they hatch. The fledglings are born completely naked but grow relatively quickly. Both parents take turns finding food and bringing it back for the young. Toucans reach maturity and learn to fly by six weeks of age, at which point they go on to find or form their own flocks.

There are about 40 species of toucans, and they are known for their oversized, colorful bills. The bills on some species can grow to nearly eight inches long. They are used mostly for foraging fruit and insects but also play a role in the mating ritual. Because toucan bills aren’t dense and heavy, they aren’t good defense mechanisms. They also are not good excavators and, therefore, find nests and holes to live and raise young in that have already been built by other animal species, such as woodpeckers.