Plate Billed Mountain Toucan – Andigena | Complete Facts & Everything about it:

There are quite a several species of mountain toucans, but the Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, found in the humid areas of South America is a unique bird among them. 

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This guide offers you concise information about this tropical American forest bird and what makes it stand out in its family.

What is Plate-Billed Mountain Toucan?

The Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, also known as the Laminated Hill-Toucan and Laminated Mountain-Toucan is one of the species of mountain toucan family which is common in the humid forest areas of South America.

How to identify the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan

The Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan is a bird with palpable distinguishable features. It possesses a very colorful dense plumage, with its underparts, colored in blue, and a coppery back. 

It wears a black crown and nape, with red-colored under tail coverts, and a crescent of yellow color below the eye. 

The most unique feature that distinguishes it from other mountain toucans is the yellow “plate” featured on its broad bill, which is not usually prominent on young breeds of the bird. 

Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan Flying and Range

The Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan is a wild and wide ranger. 

It can fly from its native habitats of West Andes, Southwest Columbia, and South, and Central Ecuador to as far as the humid mountains of Peru’s Chanchan. 

Its range is known to be between 2000 to 2400m.

Pilate-Billed Mountain-Toucan | Scientific Name | Origin | History | Classification 

The Pilate-billed Mountain-Toucan with the scientific name Andigena Laminirostris is known to be native to Columbia and Ecuador where it lives in its habitat of humid mountainous forests of the Andes.

This species of mountain toucans, which was at one time in history considered to be common, was declared by IUCN as Nearly Threatened because of human invasion of their habitats.

How to identify the gender of the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan

Both the male and the female Plate-billed mountain Toucans are very identical in physical features, except in their bills, which have a not-too-palpable difference. 

A close look at both sexes will unveil to you that the female Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan has a broader, shorter, and straighter bill. 

The male Plate-billed Mountain Toucan’s bill is about 10 percent longer and narrower than its female counterpart.

Another way by which you can identify the gender of the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan is to watch them when they mate. During mating, the male thrusts and turns its bill sideways, while displaying its tail and throat to entice the female.

What does a Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan sound like?

Plate-billed Mountain Toucans are the most vocal species among mountain toucans. Their loud rattles and clicks can be heard from more than one kilometer away. 

The female Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan emits a loud repeated sound of ‘t’t’t’t’t’t’t’t’, while the male produces a repeated loud sound of ‘tryyyyyyyk’.

The Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan behavior, characteristics, and appearance.

Plate-billed Mountain Toucans are relatively quiet birds, compared to other toucans. They are also friendly and can be easily tamed when taken into captivity.

The Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan measures about 16.5 – 21 inches in length, with the large but light-weighted bill alone measuring about 3.25 – 4 inches (8 – 10 cm) long. 

The male, whose bill is slightly larger, weighs on average 11.1 oz (314.68 g), while the female weighs an average of 10.7 oz (303.34 g).

The bill of the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan is made up of ivory, red and black colors. The bony rectangular plate part close to the base of the upper bill’s color is ivory. 

The half of the lower bill and the extreme base of the upper bill are colored in dark red, while the rest of the portions of the bill is black-colored.

The Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan possesses a glossy back nape and crown. 

It features an upper plumage and wings of the golden olive color, while the wing feathers are either brown or darker green. 

The upper portion of its tail cover is dark green, while the lower back features lemon yellow. 

The color of the plumage below the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan is brilliant blue with a light mix of bright yellow patches on both sides. Its grey tail feathers feature a little rufous at the tips, while the thighs’ color is brown.

The Plate-billed Mountain Toucan’s irises are bright red, while bare yellow skin surrounds the eyes, with a little touch of yellow-green above it. 

It has four toes. Two of them point forward, while the other two, backward.

Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan lifespan

The Plate Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan can live for an average of 12 years and up to 20 years.

Where do Plate-Billed Mountain Toucans Live? (Habitat, Nestling & Migration)

Plate-billed mountain toucans habit the western humid forest foothills of the Andean western Ecuador and far rain forests of southwestern Colombia. 

In Colombia, you can find Plate-billed Mountain Toucans in Pita Canyon (Narino) in Colombia’s southwestern region and south, and Ecuador’s northwestern border in Morona-Santiago Province. 

They live in tree cavities that are sometimes nestled more than 30 meters above the ground.

Plate-billed Mountain Toucans move in families, groups, and the company of other species of birds.

Plate-Billed Mountain Toucan Egg laying and breeding

The Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan lays three to four shiny white eggs annually on wood chips which it creates while trying to enlarge the opening of the various kinds of regurgitated seeds it had collected for breeding. 

The incubation period, in which parent birds play a role, lasts about 16 days. The eggs are usually left uncovered, and parent birds rarely sit on them for up to an hour. 

Both parents are responsible for the feeding of the babies, who are fed with fruits for up to 8 weeks.

The nestlings of Plate-billed Mountain Toucans are born without sight and the bill is unnoticeable for about about 16 days Irom birth before it starts exhibiting the features of the toucan, and takes up to a minimum of four months to possess the complete features of the toucan. 

Feathers of the babies, whose elbows feature pads that protect their feet, take 4 weeks before they begin to expand. 

It takes between 46 and 60 days before young Plate-billed Mountain Toucans can be able to fledge from the nest.

Breeding the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan in captivity requires attention to several rules of breeding practices as the rate of successful incubation of eggs is reported by successful breeders to be below average. 

Plate-billed Mountain Toucans’ breeding activities are usually between June and July when there are enough fruits to feed their babies.

How much do Plate-Billed Toucans weigh?

The male Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan weighs about 315 grams(11.1 oz), while the female one weighs about 303 grams(10.7 oz).

Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan food and diet

Plate-billed Mountain Toucans’ major food is fruits. They also feed on insects and eggs.

What are the predators of Plate-billed Mountain Toucans?

Plate-billed Mountain Toucans’ predators are large carnivorous birds, such as hawks and falcons.

Are Plate-Billed Mountain Toucans rare and endangered?

Yes, Plate-billed Mountain Toucans are considered endangered species and classified as Near Threatened because of the decline of the bird population. 

This is due to the loss of their habitat as a result of deforestation.

Can Plate-Billed Mountain Toucans be pets?

Yes, they make excellent pets. But you must be ready to accommodate their messy lifestyle as they require thorough care.

Interesting and fun: Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan facts

  • The Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan is a rare species found only in Colombia and Ecuador in South America.
  • They are the most vocal species in the family of Ramphastidae.
  • Both males and females share the same appearance except for the little difference in their bills.
  • The young Plate-billed Mountain Toucan’s bill is unmarked at birth.
  • Both the male and female parents play roles in breeding the young ones.
  • Plate-billed Mountain Toucans engage in breeding activities during June and July.
  • Their eggs are white and very shining.
  • The male Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan weighs more than the female one.
  • The bill of the female toucan is broader and shorter than that of the male Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan.
  • Plate-billed Mountain Toucans have is classified as Near Threatened.


Whether you are a toucan enthusiast or you are considering having one as a pet, this guide has taken you on a tour of all information about the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan that you need to know.