Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Toucans are among nature’s most remarkable birds. A variety of foods are available to them, but their diet and eating habits are distinctive from those of other birds. What exactly do toucans consume, and what are their favorite foods?

Vegetables, fruits, insects, bird eggs, reptiles, rodents, and many more are only some of the foods that toucans eat, as will be detailed in greater detail below. The right way to feed them is also covered in this article.

What Do Toucans Eat In The Rainforest?

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Toucans are able to eat both animals and plants thanks to their omnivorous diet. However, fruits and vegetables make up the bulk of their diet. This includes the fig, wild cherry, banana, apple, and so on.

They have huge, sharp beaks that make it easy for them to eat the entire fruit.

Toucans like a wide variety of foods, not just fruit. Furthermore, they are crucial in the propagation of new flora and fauna.

The seeds they eat can sometimes pass through their digestive systems and grow into new plants after landing on the ground. Toucans eat both plants and animals in the jungle, and this article will explore their diet in that environment.


Toucans can eat a wide variety of fruits, including bell peppers, strawberries, guavas, bananas, oranges, papayas, melons, cantaloupe, dragon fruit, blueberries, figs, acai berries, palm fruit, and wild ficus fruit.

Most of these fruits are favorites of theirs. Because of their exceptionally large beaks, toucans can easily access the fruit that grows high in the trees of the Amazonian rainforest.

Because of the unique structure of their beaks, they are able to accomplish this. As a result of their great height, other birds have a hard time reaching those branches to eat the fruit. Toucans can only eat fruit that does not include seeds because they are indigestible to them.


The diet of a toucan should consist of at least 50% fruit and 10% fresh vegetables. Toucans get their veggie fix from chopped carrots, then.


Toucans feed on tree frogs and insects such as caterpillars, crickets, cicadas, and termites when they are in the rainforest. Because insects provide a fast and high-protein snack for toucans.


The toucan is thought to consume reptiles as well as birds. Specifically, lizards are a favorite reptile to devour for these creatures.


Large toucans like the Taco Toucan have been observed eating small rodents.

Birds & Their Eggs

Some bird species, particularly those of a smaller or medium size, have their eggs and nestlings eaten by toucans. Birds’ eggs, like insects, are a nutrient powerhouse, making them a fantastic complement to the toucans’ diet.

How Do Toucans Get Their Food?

Toucans acquire all they need to survive from their natural environment, including tree-hanging fruits, insects, tiny reptiles, birds, and bird eggs. Toucans utilize their beaks to reach the fruits on the upper branches of trees.

Their massive beaks are around 19 centimeters in length. They get the fruit from trees by using their beaks, which also serve as peelers.

Toucans use their featherlike tongue, which is almost as long as their beak, to catch insects, small reptiles, frogs, and rodents.

What Do Toucans Eat In Captivity?

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In captivity, toucans will also eat fruits, along with insects and small rodents.


Bananas, apples, mangoes, grapes, peaches, kiwis, pears, papayas, blueberries, strawberries, melons, figs, and a wide variety of other fruits make up the bulk of a toucan’s diet when kept in captivity.

Citrus fruits are delicious, but they shouldn’t be given to toucans because of the risk of an illness called hemochromatosis.

The Toucans have an illness related to iron overload. This disease is very harmful to toucans and raises the mortality rate of these birds (toucans).


Vegetables such as tomato, corn, cucumber, carrots, pea, chayote, pea, etc., are common fare for captive toucans.

Favorite Foods of Toucan

Toucans eat a wide variety of foods, including tiny birds and their eggs, rodents, small reptiles like lizards, insects, and fruit and berries.

But fruit and berries are what they really thrive on, and there are fruits available year-round in the rainforest and in captivity. Their preferred fruits are the papaya and banana.

Toucans are classified as frugivores by some scientists due to the fact that fruit is their primary food source. In addition, toucans have a preference for brightly colored fruits because they are easily able to catch their attention.

Their primary food source is fruit, which is great for the environment since they are unable to digest seeds and poop them out intact.

Anywhere on land that these seeds are scattered will soon be home to a new plant. Their large beaks are ideal for snatching up all of these items.

Their large beak allows them to effortlessly crack open a wide variety of tropical fruits with tough skins. They use their beak to pry fruit from tree branches, and then devour the entire thing in one sitting.

Large toucans, such as the Toco toucans, like snacking on lizards, eggs, and tiny birds. If they can’t find any fruit, they’ll settle for other foods, such as insects, small reptiles, rodents, etc., especially the juicy ones, like frogs, lizards, snakes, etc. In the event that they come across any little birds or their eggs, they will also attempt to devour them.

How To Feed Toucans?

Fresh fruits can be served alongside high-quality, low-iron pallets. Therefore, roughly 50% of their diet should consist of pellets, and the remaining 50% should consist of pellet-free foods such as fruits, vegetables, and insects.

Melon, berries, bananas, papayas, papayas, grapes, cantaloupes, apples, etc. are all acceptable fruits for toucans to eat.

Most of the time, you can get rid of the seeds because toucans can’t eat them, but if you don’t want to get rid of them, there’s a chance new plants will grow. Be careful to keep the quantity quite small, as too much of anything is undesirable, and indigestible food in particular.

If the fruit is particularly large, it should be chopped into smaller pieces so the Toucan can more easily consume them. Toucans have trouble digesting fruit seeds, so it’s best to remove them before feeding them fruits like melons and papaya.

The indigestibility of the seeds poses a health risk to the toucans because it can lead to intestinal issues. Keep in mind that toucans’ iron stores can be boosted by the dietary components found in fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin C, sugar, and ascorbic acid are these ingestibles. Citrus fruits including oranges, limes, pineapples, grapefruits, and lemons are a great source of all these healthy nutrients.

Tomatoes, the citrus-rich vegetable, should be protected from toucans. And let’s assume they’ll manage to consume fruits and vegetables that are rich in these nutrients.

Toucans with iron storage disorder have an abnormal buildup of iron in their livers.

In spite of its prevalence, this illness can pose a major threat to a toucan’s life. Meat of any kind is too high in iron for them, so no red meat or any other kind is an option.

Vegetables that have been coarsely chopped, shredded, or sliced can be served in limited quantities. Avoid offering excessive amounts of vegetables.

Serve them baseball food, low-iron pallets, and a diet low in iron, but avoid using propylene glycol, which might cause fatal health problems in toucans.

Avoid mingling plates when serving food and stick to offering each type separately. Two feedings per day with pellets and meal are acceptable.

To prevent the spread of bacteria, wash them thoroughly with hot water after each use. Toucans can have their increased protein needs met during the breeding season by being fed crickets.

Toucans should never be given vitamin supplements in their designed meal, just as humans should not take in excessive amounts of any nutrient.

How often & How much do toucans eat?

Fruits, veggies, insects, and other food items must be readily available at all times for toucans. They are permitted to consume food at least twice daily and as many as six times daily, but the serving sizes are often small.

Toucans don’t gorge themselves every day. In contrast, if they eat only twice a day, they will get two healthy servings each time. If they eat more than six times a day, the quantities will be relatively little.

What Can Toucans Not Eat?

Iron-rich seeds, fruits, and vegetables, red meat, and other types of meat and seeds are toxic to toucans.

Iron storage sickness in toucans can be prevented by preventing them from eating citrus fruits and tomatoes. Toucans should never be given avocados, as they are extremely poisonous to them. Toucans will not eat even a tiny bit of avocado.

Do Toucans Drink Water?

The water content of fruits and vegetables provides most of the water that toucans need, thus they rarely need to drink water. The only thing is that toucans need access to freshwater all the time.

How Do Toucans Drink Water?

When it comes to water, toucans are not big consumers. They acquire most of the water they need from the fruits they consume, but they nevertheless occasionally drink water.

They get their hydration from sources such as water in tree cavities and dewdrops on plant leaves. Toucans require large amounts of water when kept as pets due to their susceptibility to severe dehydration.

Toucans can also drink from dishes, but these should have a substantial surface area so the birds may comfortably rest their beaks in the water to drink.

Do Toucans Eat Other Birds?

Toucans will consume other birds, but only if they’re small enough for them to swallow. The only types of birds that toucans won’t eat are small ones and eggs.

Can Toucans Eat Bananas?

Yes, toucans eat bananas. They really enjoy eating bananas. The consumption of bananas by toucans is beneficial to their health and does not impair the birds in any way.

Toucans, on the other hand, have a limited appetite for bananas. Thus, toucans should only be given a little handful of bananas.

Even while toucans prefer peanuts, you shouldn’t ever give them only that. Give them a taste of the world by feeding them a wide variety of foods.

Final Words

Toucans have a wide-ranging diet that includes a variety of items, from insects to fruits and vegetables. Their diet isn’t particularly picky. In contrast to other birds, however, their eating habits and food preferences deviate slightly from the norm.

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