Toucan Time

Aren't toucans wonderful? We met lots of them at the Bird Park in Iguacu, not far from the Falls. Free to interact with humans in aviaries, most toucans weren't scared and were quite alright with having their close up taken, and accepted gentle pets. A useful trivia tidbit: the toucan is Brazil's National Bird. The most commonly known toucan is the Toco Toucan, in all but the third pic. Not sure who the third toucan is, but you can see that his/her beak and body are smaller, and colorings are different. There are actually about 40 toucan species, including toucanettes, which are like mini-toucans.

What's with the huge beak? Toucans mostly eat fruit, and apparently the massive beak lets them sit in one place while chowing down on all fruit within beak radius - apparently beak mass outweighs the energy expenditure of having to move the body around. Of course it may have to do with intimidating other birds, or mating behavior.

In the afternoon sun, some toucans took on this posture of turning their head and resting the beak against whatever they were standing on. This is nap time posture - guess the beak is too heavy to hold up, and too large to tuck under a wing.