Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

Keel-billed Toucans

Keel-billed Toucans

The Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) can be found from Southern Mexico to Venezuela and Colombia and is the national bird of Belize.  If you want to see them in the wild, a Central American award on your airline of choice will get you to their strongholds in Central America.


It roosts in the canopies of tropical, subtropical, and lowland rainforests, up to altitudes of 1,900 m (6,200 ft).  It roosts in holes in trees,often with several other toucans. This can be very cramped, so the birds tuck their tails and beaks under their bodies to conserve space while sleeping. Adding to the lack of space, the bottoms of the holes are often covered with pits from the fruit the toucans have eaten.  Like many toucans, Keel-billed is a very social bird, rarely seen alone. It travels in small flocks of approximately six to twelve individuals through lowland rainforests; it is a poor flyer, and moves mostly by hopping through trees. It has a family structure within the group. Birds will often “duel” with each other using their bills, and throw fruit into each other’s mouths. Keel-billed Toucans live together in these groups, often sharing cramped living quarters of holes in trees. Able to utilize human-altered habitat to some extent,this widespread bird is considered to be a Species of Least Concern by the IUCN.



Rainforest Alliance

Cornell Lab of Ornithology