Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

The Keel-billed Toucan is the one bird we all know about. It is featured in all brochures and advertising around tourism in Costa Rica. It’s colorful beak is amazing. As with all Toucans species though, this bird will raid other species’ nests, so it is common to see that other birds harass them, trying to scare them away. In particular, I have seen Great Kiskadees acting aggressively towards them in an effort to divert them from their nest.

A close up shot at 600mm just blurs the background and focuses our attention in the impressive colors of that beak.
I just caught it with the beak wide open as it performed its song from the branch.
An individual displays its colorful beak as it rains in San Carlos.
It continued lightly raining for a while, and the pair of toucans would come and go to the branch as they called each other.
While it also has the most colorful beak between Costa Rican Toucan species, the most impressive trait of this bird is its song, which some people describe as the croaking of a frog.
The toucan is a large bird when compared with the woodpeckers and tanagers that also perch on this branch.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (3)
No wonder why every marketing material about Costa Rica includes a picture of the Keel-billed Toucan.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (6)
Not quite as big as the Black-mandible Toucan, but still gorgeous. It’s song is similar to the croaing of a frog.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (8)
Their movements are very slow, moving their head from one side to the other, and then staying motionless. This gave me plenty of poses to choose from.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (9)
Their movements are very slow, moving their head from one side to the other, and then staying motionless. This gave me plenty of poses to choose from.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (10)
The rump is actually white, and is partially concealed by the black wings.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (12)
There is even a hint of red or brownish in the neck of this species.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (13)
A few water droplets can be seen on the tail of the toucan, and on some of the parasitic plants that colonized this branch.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (14)
Sometimes the back of the neck can look almost purple, depending on the light.
Keel-billed Toucan - Ramphastos sulfuratus - Tucán Pico Iris (18)
Rain was intermittent, stopping and starting every half an hour. The toucans came to the feeders in group and then disappeared for quite a bit.

2 thoughts on “Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

  1. Pingback: Braulio Carrillo, Quebrada Gonzalez | Chris Photography

  2. Pingback: Black-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus) | Chris Photography

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