Family Toucans (Ramphastidae)

Least Concern

Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco)


French: Toucan toco German: Riesentukan Spanish: Tucán toco

Ramphastos Toco

Statius Müller

, 1776,



Distinctive, with no very close relatives. Recent molecular data indicate that this species is basal within the genus#R#R. Has been thought to belong to the so-called “croaking group” of Ramphastos species, which includes R. sulfuratus, R. brevis, R. vitellinus and R. dicolorus (and forms previously included within those). Race albogularis poorly differentiated. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. t. toco Statius Müller, 1776 – the Guianas and NE Brazil, S to Pará and extending up Amazon W to Manaus, including large lower tributaries.
  • R. t. albogularis Cabanis, 1862 – SE Peru, Bolivia and C Brazil (from Mato Grosso and Maranhão) S to N Argentina (Tucumán, Santa Fe) and SE Brazil (SE Rio Grande do Sul).
  • Descriptive notes

    55–61 cm; 500–860 g. Marginally the largest toucan, mostly black, with white bib and uppertail-coverts, red undertail-coverts. Both sexes of nominate race with... read more


    Series of deep, grunting “groomkk” notes, singly or at c. 50 per minute; also grating... read more


    The only non-forest toucan. Inhabits mainly riverine and coastal edges of forest, patches of forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits such as figs, those of Cacos, Capsicum, Psidium, Steiculia, oranges and others; regularly takes... read more


    Sept–Feb in most areas, Dec–Jun in Bolivia to W Argentina, May–Jun in NE Brazil (Piauí). Little known in wild.... read more


    Family groups and pairs range widely, cross large rivers and open areas; eruptions known, at least... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (LEAST CONCERN). CITES II. No data available on numbers; considered to be rare in Peru. Occupies large range and, since it does not require forested... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco). 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 29 January 2020).