Tawny-tufted Toucanet

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Common Name: Tawny-tufted Toucanet
Scientific Name: Selenidera nattereri

Size: 14 inches (35 cm)

Habitat: South America. The Tawny-tufted Toucanets occur naturally in extreme eastern Colombia (in the Vaupés River region) and southern Venezuela to northwestern Brazil (along the Solimões River - from Tonantins to Codajás, and north to the upper Negro River region). There are unconfirmed reports from Guyana and French Guiana.

Their distribution is patchy and concentrated along rivers.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Population size has not been quantified but this species’ population appears to be in decline. Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable.

Diet: Fruits, insects, tree frogs and lizards.

Nesting: Males are largely black below and over the head, and green above, with red-and-yellow thighs, a red-tipped dark tail, a multicolored bill, and tawny-yellow ear-tufts. Females are broadly similar, but the black of the head and underparts is replaced by rusty-rufous.

As part of their mating ritual, they throw fruit to one another. Like all of their other activities, nesting happens high up in hollow areas in trees. The bill is not effective for digging or any other type of extensive excavation work and so they must rely on holes already formed by other means.

The nests are not lined, but the two to four shiny white eggs that are laid each year rest on a few wood chips created while enlarging the opening or on various kinds of regurgitated seeds collected for this purpose. Parents share equally in incubation duties, but rarely sit on the nest for more than an hour at a time and the eggs are often left uncovered. Both parents share in feeding fruit to the babies for up to 8 weeks.

After 16 days the nestlings are born blind, with no trace of down on their pink skin. The bill is unremarkable until about 16 days old when it takes on the distinguishing features of the toucan, and requires up to four months to develop fully. Feathers begin to expand at 4 weeks.

Babies have pads on their elbows that protect their feet by keeping them elevated until they fledge.

Cool Facts: Also known as “Natterer's Toucanets”, Tawny-tufted Toucanets are fairly long-lived with a lifespan around 20 years.

Found in Songbird ReMix Toucans 2

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