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Toucans: Ramphastidae

Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan (andigena Hypoglauca): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: This is one of four species of mountain toucan. All are a mix of blue, gray, and brown overall and have red feathers under the tail. This species can be identified by its colorful bill: red and black at the tip and yellow-green at the base, where there is a black, thumbprint-shaped mark. The black head is set off from the chestnut-brown back by a pale gray collar. Individuals may be 18 to 19 inches (46 to 48 centimeters) long and weigh 8.6 to 13.1 ounces (244 to 370 grams).

Gray-breasted mountain toucans feed alone or in small groups of up to six individuals. They move quietly, not like most toucans, and may feed with other species of birds. (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey. Reproduced by permission.)

Geographic range: These birds live in the west slope of the north-central Andes from central Colombia through Ecuador to southeast Peru.

Habitat: This species lives at higher elevations than other toucans, in humid mountaintop forests. Birds spend much of their time in the tallest trees.

Diet: Fruits and berries. This species is more willing than most to leave the high canopy, leaves of the tallest trees, to feed on raspberries in the understory, area beneath the tallest trees.

Behavior and reproduction: The behavior has not been well studied. Birds feed alone or in small groups of up to six individuals. They move quietly, not like most toucans. They have been seen feeding with other bird species including tanagers, thrushes, and blackbirds. Little is known about their breeding habits.

Gray-breasted mountain toucans and people: This species lives in remote areas and is of little significance to humans.

Conservation status: Considered Near Threatened by the IUCN. In some areas its high-altitude forest habitat is being cleared for farms, mining, grazing, or wood-cutting for fuel. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsToucans: Ramphastidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Toucans And People, Conservation Status, Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan (andigena Hypoglauca): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT