Rhamphastidae


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Related to Rhamphastidae: Ramphastidae, toucan

Rhamphastidae

 

(toucans), a family of birds of the order Piriformes. The body measures approximately 30–60 cm in length. The bill is large and compressed on the sides with serrated edges. The tongue is long and narrow with bristles along the sides near the tip. The bright plumage is black with white, yellow, and red spots or sometimes uniformly green.

Thirty-seven species of Rhamphastidae inhabit rain forests in plains and mountains of the Americas from southern Mexico to northern Argentina, to elevations of 3,000 m. They live in small flocks and nest in tree hollows high above ground; small species inhabit holes made by woodpeckers. Fruit pits regurgitated by brooding birds serve as litter in the nests. There are two to four white eggs in a clutch. Small species brood approximately 16 days. The new hatchlings lack feathers and are blind, but they are able to see after three weeks and leave the nest after 43 to 46 days. The birds feed on berries, small fruits, insects, the eggs and the young of small birds, and small reptiles.

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