Toucan Flying | Can a Toucan Fly? ( Everything about their flying )

Toucans can fly. However, they are not considered to be good flyers.

They are more often seen hopping from one place to another and walking the distance, instead of flying from place to place. 

Most people have only seen them either fly from one branch of a tree to the other, or from the ground to a branch. 

Many are inclined to believe that the weight of a toucan’s beak is a contributing factor in them not being good flyers. 

But in reality, their beaks are very lightweight even though they are almost one-third the size of a toucan’s body.

While toucans can fly, their flights are always rather short and unconventional.

How does a toucan fly?

Toucans use their strong legs to jump and hop in the air. Once they have left the ground, they flap their flight wings in an up and down motion at a high speed to keep their balance in the air. 

Once the balance is restored, they can also glide through the air.

Why are toucans considered not good at flying?

Toucans are generally considered to be mediocre flyers because of the following reasons:

  • Length of their flight wings

Toucans have flight wings that are considered to be too short to carry their body weight for a long time. 

  • The lifestyle and habitat of a toucan

Toucans prefer to live closer to the ground with their groups. Their habitat consists of lowlands and rainforest canopies. 

This is ideal for them as it allows them to not hunt for food far away. Hence, there is usually no need for them to fly a lot.

How far can a toucan fly?

Toucans can only fly short distances ranging from a couple of meters to a few tens of meters. They are rarely ever seen flying long distances. 

One could argue that the maximum amount of distance that a toucan covers in a flight would not be more than a hundred meters.

How fast can a toucan fly?

Toucans fly at an average speed of 30 to 40 miles per hour, or around 50 to 60 kilometers per hour. 

Do toucans migrate?

Toucans are not known to migrate. They are known to live in the same places where they have grown up or been raised in. 

At the most, they can wander around the area, but that is also usually done on foot, instead of flying.

Why do some toucans not fly?

All toucans are capable of flying. The only reason the majority of them are not seen flying that much is that they generally don’t need to fly far and for long.

However, in rare cases where some toucans are not capable of flying, one or few of the following conditions could be the reason:

1. Birth or genetic defects in toucans

Some toucans can experience birth defects and defects from genetics, resulting in either poorly formed wings or legs, or a defect inside their bodies. This can prevent them from even flying short distances.

2. Deformities due to injuries

Injuries can play a huge role in deciding how decent of a flier a toucan can be. Injuries directly affecting their flight wings can make it harder for some toucans to fly. 

In many cases, it can take an injured flight wing several months to recover – limiting the mobility of the toucan even further.

3. Negligence in care

Toucans kept in captivity require a lot of care, maintenance, and space. 

Negligence while dealing with either of these three necessities can cause harm, injury, and even trauma to the birds.

When do toucans need to fly?

The most commonly occurring situations where toucans are seen suddenly flying are when they are attacked by predators. 

These birds are very sensitive in nature. In fact, they even shy away from human contact at the beginning of their training when kept in captivity. 

They tend to hop and fly whenever they see someone unknown approaching them.

When does a baby toucan learn to fly?

A baby toucan simply called a chick, becomes capable of flying within 2 to 3 months of its birth.

However, because these chicks are born blind and their wings take time to develop, it is important to let them rest and grow completely until they are at least 2 months old. 

Once their bodies and wings are fully developed, it does not take long for a baby toucan to learn to fly on its own.

How to nurse the wings of an injured toucan?

Depending on the type of injury, the treatment would differ in the course. Some of the different courses are given below:

1. If the wings have a cut:

In this case, it is best to see an avian veterinarian. They would be best suited to provide immediate care to the bird. 

2. If there is a loss of flight wings due to injury:

Flight wings can grow back. However, it usually takes from several months to up to a couple of years for them to grow fully. 

In such cases, regular check-ups and treatments from the avian veterinarian are needed. 

Also, their enclosures or aviaries should be made in such a way that they don’t need to fly to higher ends to get to their resting areas.

3. If the toucan is unable to fly because of an injured tail:

In such a case, while the tail heals, it is best to help the toucan strengthen their flight wings by holding them in the air and taking them from one place to another – just so they could “fly” with their wings while their owners hold them. 

Not letting them go and fly on their own is crucial in this case because they can possibly land harshly on their injured tail, making things worse.

A helpful tip in such a case:

Keep their aviaries or enclosures covered with extremely soft cushions or towels. 

This should be done in order to ensure that even if they do fly on their own from one perch to the other, they don’t hit and further injure their already injured tail.


Toucans are adorable birds. While they are not extremely good at flying, they are really easy to train and keep as a pet. 

However, they do require a bit of maintenance in order to ensure their proper development.

Intro Video - Backtobirds
Intro Video - Backtobirds