Green Billed Toucan or Red-Breasted Toucans | Ramphastos Dicolorus – Complete Facts

Globally, there are more than 40 species of toucan. Green-billed toucans or red-breasted toucans have attractive features such as bright red plumage and pale green bills.

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A green billed toucan is an excellent choice for pets and is a highly demanded species in the pet market. 

How do they differ from other toucans? What do they eat? Are they dangerous to humans? 

Let’s discuss some amazing facts about a green-billed toucan.

What is a Green-billed toucan? How to identify?

The green-billed toucan is a comparatively small bird among toucan species, and their bill is pale green color and thus the name.

Known as the “red-breasted toucan” because of their bright red abdomen, their belly parts are covered in red feathers.

The upper body of Toucans is mostly covered in glossy black plumage and the chest or underparts are filled with orangish-yellow plumage with yellow and white sides.

The prominent bare red skin can be seen around their pale eyes and the black ring around their bill base.

Green-billed toucan flying and Range:

Green-billed toucan is a non-flight avian species. They have a small wingspan and can fly only a few miles.

This is not an obstacle or life risk for them, because they usually live high in the forest canopy.

In general, the average speed of the green-billed toucan is up to 64 kmph (40 mph). However, there is no documentation about the exact speed of the toucan species.

Green-billed toucan classification, History, Scientific name, and Origin:

The green-billed toucans and their species belonged to the family of Ramphastidae. They are quite widespread within the range of their habitat.

The Red-breasted or green-billed toucan is a type of bird that belonged to the Animalia kingdom and the class Aves. This bird is a member of the phylum Chordata and the order Piciformes. 

The genus of the green-billed toucan is Ramphastos and their scientific name is Ramphastos dicolorus.

How to identify the gender of the Green-billed toucan?

Both female and male green-billed birds look identical, but male toucans are found to have 10% longer and narrower bills than females.

Generally, green-billed female toucan and green-billed male birds are referred to as ‘hen’ and ‘cock’ respectively. Just like other avian creatures, a baby green-billed toucan is known as a chick.

How long do Green-billed toucans live? Green-billed toucan lifespan:

A green-billed toucan or red-breasted toucan lives a longer life than the other toucan species. The average life expectancy of this exquisite bird is around 12 to 20 years.

In captivity, with proper care and diet, the green-billed toucan is known to live for an average lifespan of 16 years and 8 months.

Where do Green-billed toucans live? ( Habitat, Nesting & Migration )

The green-billed toucan can be found prominently throughout parts of South America.

A large number of these species primarily inhibit the Atlantic Forest. Central, southern and eastern Brazil are the natives of many of these species. 

These birds can be seen everywhere in the far northeast of Argentina and Paraguay. Apart from that, these birds are a common sight in certain areas of Bolivia.

Habitat of the green-billed toucan:

The green-billed toucans’ natural habitat is mainly forest-dependent and mostly they prefer to live and forge in tropical and subtropical forests.

Mountain forests are home to these birds, and they also thrive in lowland forests, second growth, savannas, and plantations.

Generally, these toucans construct nests and live in trees high up. They usually take flight at a height of 100-1500 m (328-4921 ft).

Nesting habits 

Green-billed toucan constructs their nest high up in hollow areas in trees. Their delicate bill is not effective for drilling or any other extensive excavation works, so they rely on cavities dug by other birds or animals in the trees.

Breeding season

The green-billed toucan bird breeding season starts from October and goes on till late February. Otherhand, the breeding season of green-billed toucans living in the northern parts starts in January and ends in June.

What does a green-billed toucan sound like?

Like other toucans, green-billed toucans communicate through high-pitched sounds and they make call series in the form of continuous “grrekk” notes.

Green-billed toucan Behavior, Characteristics & Appearance:

Behavior :

Spotting a group of 20 or more green-billed toucans is not an abnormal event in their native places.

Toucan birds become aggressive during their breeding season and are very possessive about their territory. The green-billed toucan male birds attract their potential by singing and even throwing fruits at the female.


The green-billed toucan is the smallest bird among the large toucan species and approximately weighs up to 265- 400 grams (9.3-14.1 oz).

The average body length of this bird ranges up to 42-48 cm (16.5- 18.9 inches), and compared to other toucans, these birds have a smaller bill.

The average length of the beak is around 10 cm ( 3.9 inches). Their body size is much shorter than a blue-and-yellow macaw.

Their bill is as long as their body size, making them intimidating to other animals, but their bill is covered with a spongy form of keratin, similar to human fingernails, making them unable to bore holes into trees.

Green-billed toucan food and diet | What does a Green-billed toucan eat?

Like other toucan species and macaws, the green-billed toucan loves to dine on an omnivorous diet. The major portion of their diet is constrained to water-rich fruits and seasonal nuts.

Apart from that, toucans like to prey on various types of insects. For hydration, they mostly depend on fruits such as apples, raspberries, berries, and other seasonal fruits rather than fresh stream water.

Occasionally, their hunting instincts work and prey on small reptiles and birds. The green-billed toucans also raid other birds’ nests to catch chicks and eggs for food.

In captivity, the green-billed toucan diet is mostly based on fruits, seeds, and nuts. These birds are docile and cute birds, with proper feed and maintenance they would become an excellent companion for humans.

Green-billed toucan Egg laying and breeding | How do they reproduce?

The green billed toucans are capable of laying their clutch (nest) with 2 to 4 eggs and each parent takes turns incubating the eggs.

After about two and a half weeks (16 days), the eggs hatch into chicks. The chicks born with bills are unremarkable and their eyes are blind, with no trace of down on their pink skin.

It takes at least 16 days to distinguish the features and body parts of the young ones and requires four months to develop fully. 

After four weeks of hatching, chicks started to get new feathers. Among parents, female birds feed young ones. About eight weeks until the chick takes care of themselves, they are under the care of both parent birds.

Until the chicks fledge, they have pads on their elbows and elevate them in order to protect their feet.

In captivity, breeding requires full attention to the details of each day. Even a successful breeder reports only 30% low for the incubation of eggs.

What are the predators of the Green-billed toucan?

Green-billed toucans have several predators including boa constrictors (snakes) and are also haunted by large cats and other predatory birds. Generally, they live in flocks to protect their territory from predators.

Humans pose a major threat to these birds. Through deforestation and hunting, humans make green-billed toucans homeless so they can be sold as pets. 

Are Green-billed toucans rare and endangered?

The International Union for Conservation Of Nature (IUCN) has noted the Ramphastos dicolorus (red-breasted toucan ) as the least Concern in their Red List of Threatened Species.

The exact number of populations of green-billed toucan that exist in the world is not known.

According to the IUCN, their populations tend to be decreasing. However, they are seen commonly in their distribution range map and are quite widespread among households too.

Can green-billed toucans be pets?

A red-breasted toucan or green-billed toucan is a popular and common pet in South America. The gorgeous and attractive color coordination of their feathers and the green bill make them an attractive choice for companions.

Although their bright color plumage and bills are mighty attractive, they need a lot of work, budget, and experience to keep them alive for a long period.

For inexperienced owners, the beautiful green-billed toucan is not an ideal choice as a pet.

Some interesting facts about green-billed toucans

  • Green-billed toucans have pale green bills and are also known as red-breasted toucans, because of their red feathers on the chest. They are the smallest bird among toucan species.
  • They are primarily inhibited in the Atlantic ocean and highly populated in the South and Northern parts of America.
  • They belonged to the family of Ramphastidae and fly up to 64 kmph speed.
  • They weigh approximately 350 grams and are the smallest among large black toucans.
  • The average length of the bill is around 10 cm ( 3.9 inches) and their body length is about 42-48 cm.
  • Green-billed toucan has a longer lifespan among toucan families, they can survive up to 12 to 20 years.
  • They usually live in a flock of 20 members and construct their nest in the high-altitude above 1000-1500 meters. 
  • Both parents are involved in the incubation period and protect their chicks from predators.
  • Green-billed toucans are omnivorous birds and mainly dine on fruits and nuts.
  • They are one of the popular birds among pet lovers and need proper care and maintenance for long years.