Toucans are a familiar bird to many people because of their colorful, generously proportioned bills. There are about 40 different species of toucans and they can be found in Southern Mexico, Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. The different species range in size from just a few ounces to well over a pound. Not only are their large but light bills effective for thermoregulation, they are helpful in feeding, allowing a toucan to reach more food from a stationary position. Toucans can make entertaining companions as long as they receive plenty of out of the cage time for exercise and interaction. Owners who give their toucans free reign in the house need to be aware that toucans will scoop almost any random tidbit for a snack, regardless of whether or not it’s edible – so don’t leave any screws, wires, etc. laying around. With their diet and other needs properly attended to, these charismatic birds can live for over 20 years.
“Bird Brain” should be taken as a compliment.
Calling someone a “bird brain” is an insult, but perhaps it should be reconsidered given how many birds display high intelligence and adaptability. For just a few examples, the kea from New Zealand can solve logical puzzles and work with other birds in order to acquire food, observations of Cormorants used by Chinese fishermen indicate that the birds can count up to seven, and many species of birds use simple tools such as sticks to help them acquire food or other items that catch their fancy! There is also a cockatoo named Snowball who can dance to the beat of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself,” though whether this indicates intelligence or not may be a matter of debate or personal taste.Learn more >>