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Spot Bill

(Selenidera maculirostris)

The Spot Bill Toucanet (Selenidera maculirostris) is a native of southern Brazil and northern Argentina, where it is fairly common. It is one of seven so-called lowland toucanets, seldom seen above 1000′ elevation. The Spot Bill (as are its cousins) is small, weighing only 150 grams, with a total length of nine inches. The beak measures only two inches, making it the smallest in beak size. The beak, however, is its distinguishing characteristic as each bird has its own unique pattern of spots, which identifies it much like a human fingerprint.

Spot Bill Toucanet (Selenidera maculirostris) – Jerry Jennings’ Emerald Forest Bird Gardens

The Spot Bill (as all the Seleniderids) is dimorphic. The male has a black head and breast, whereas the female has a brown head and breast. Spot Bills are free breeders and easily reproduced in the aviary. They are also docile and may be housed in mixed species flights without incident.

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

Toucanets 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: First captive breeding May 28, 1984; Jerry Jennings.

CITES status: Appendix III