Family Toucans (Ramphastidae)

Least Concern

Choco Toucan (Ramphastos brevis)


French: Toucan du Choco German: Küstentukan Spanish: Tucán del Chocó

Ramphastos ambiguus brevis

Meyer de Schauensee

, 1945,

River Mechengue, Cauca, Colombia


A distinctive species within the so-called “croaking group” (see R. toco). Although plumage characters suggest possible sister relationship to R. sulfuratus, genetic data indicate that present species is sister to R. vitellinus#R. Long considered to be a race of R. ambiguus, but differs significantly in voice; size smaller, bill shorter with more yellow; sympatric with R. a. swainsonii. Monotypic.


NW Colombia (N Chocó) S, W of Andes, to SW Ecuador (S to Manta Real).

Descriptive notes

46–48·5 cm; 365–482 g. Both sexes with maroon tinge in black from forehead to upper back; black above, uppertail-coverts white; yellow throat and breast,... read more


A series of croaks, “tree-aak” to “tyook” or “tyeerp”, 40... read more


Generally inhabits lowland forest and also forest on lower Andean slopes, as well as adjacent... read more

Food and feeding

Diet little known; mainly undetermined fruits in stomachs; probably takes some insects and small vertebrates. Feeds in canopy, often with... read more


Poorly known. Thought to breed in Jun–Aug, probably earlier, to Jan, in W Colombia. “Singing” bird swings head upwards to one side,... read more


None known other than upslope, foraging movements in pairs or in groups of up to 6, rarely 14.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Chocó EBA. No information available on numbers. Judged to be uncommon to locally common... read more

Recommended citation

Short, L.L. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Choco Toucan (Ramphastos brevis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 February 2020).