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(Aulachorynchus prasinus)

The Emerald Toucanet (Aulachorynchus prasinus) is the most broadly distributed of the toucans. There are approximately fourteen subspecies which can be found from southern Mexico south to northern Bolivia and southern Peru. The Emerald toucanet is one of seven species of “mountain toucanets”, all of which are mostly green, and vary in their beak and eyeskin coloration. The subspecies featured here (the only one in captivity), is found from, southern Mexico to southern Nicaragua, and is referred to as the white throated form.

Emerald toucanets (as are all toucanets) are much smaller versions of the large black toucans. They weigh approximately 175 grams, and reach a total length of only twelve inches, with the beak accounting for three.

Aviculture: Outdoor flights should be at least 4′ x 8′ x 4′ for toucanets (Even larger flights should be used if possible!).

The Emerald toucanet may be a bit pugnacious with other species in their family and with smaller birds, and therefore should not be housed with different birds in small enclosures or cages.

Toucanets are frugivorous birds, whose primary diet is fruit. In the wild they consume fruits from as many as 100 species of plants and trees. They also consume a variety of insects for protein, especially during their nesting cycle.

They MUST be fed FRESH fruit every day! The fruit diet should also be supplemented with a low iron protein source (such as Mazuri Low Iron Softbill diet by Purina Mills).

They are not as difficult to breed as often thought and must be housed alone in pairs, preferably following the size enclosures mentioned above under housing. While they will breed in boxes, with a concave bottom, they are far more likely to breed if they are provided with a “natural” nest, constructed from a palm tree log. Logs allow these birds to continually dig their nest chamber deeper, which helps them cement the pair bond.

All Ramphastids lay pure white, elliptical shaped eggs, usually 3-4 per clutch. Incubation for all species lasts 16 days, and young fledge the nest at 40-42 days.

First captive breeding: May 27, 1978; Jerry Jennings.