Additional information on reproductive behavior of the Red-breasted Toucan, Ramphastos dicolorus (Aves: Piciformes: Ramphastidae)


  • Daniel Fernandes Perrella Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Recursos Naturais
  • Fernanda Junqueira Vaz Guida Fundação Parque Zoológico de São Paulo


Breeding biology, cavity-nester, hive coexistence, incubation and nestling periods, regurgitated seeds


Abstract: Ramphastidae is Family of secondary cavity-nesting birds that is endemic to the Neotropical region. Here we provide a comprehensive literature review of nest measurements, and new information on characteristics of the nest cavity, parental nest attendance, incubation and nestling period of the Red-breasted Toucan, Ramphastos dicolorus. We also add information on the origin of the seeds found inside toucan nests and propose a potential function for them. Eight nests were studied in three cavities during six breeding seasons at Parque Estadual das Fontes do Ipiranga, São Paulo, and at a private allotment in Ibiúna, southeastern Brazil. The reproductive activities of the birds were observed from September to February. In one cavity, we found the first record of a Meliponini bee hive (Scaptotrigona bipunctata) co-existing with a toucan nest. At the beginning of the nesting season, the parents regurgitate seeds on the floor of the cavity, covering it with them. This preparation plays a role in nest sanitation, once the seeds act as a substrate for the feces facilitating the process of carrying them off the nest by the female. The incubation and nestling periods lasted 17.2 ± 1.2 and 43 ± 5.4 days, respectively, and both parents shared egg incubation, nestling, brooding and provisioning, but only the female performed nest sanitation. This differs from published observations on other species of the group, suggesting that the participation of each sex in nest attendance may not be the same for all ramphastids. Additionally, our observations suggest that selecting anthropic locations for nesting can negatively influence toucan nest success.




How to Cite

Perrella, D. F., & Guida, F. J. V. (2019). Additional information on reproductive behavior of the Red-breasted Toucan, Ramphastos dicolorus (Aves: Piciformes: Ramphastidae). Biota Neotropica, 19(1). Retrieved from //




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