Susie Christian, Morro Bay, CA; Photo Credits: Miguel Rocha


Plate-billed Mountain Toucan

Plate-billed Mountain Toucan hen

Ever since the first human laid eyes on the Toucan bill, people have scratched their heads and wondered why a bird would have such a large, awkward looking beak.  To make matters even more puzzling is the adept way the Toucan puts its beak to many uses, a lot of which are no doubt unrelated to the way the big “schnoz” was originally intended to function.

During the early seventies I bought a Toco Toucan at the Los Angeles, Farmer’s Market pet store for $49.95 and I named him Schmuckie, because of his incredible beak.  Full of personality and so smart, Schmuckie would catch every grape tossed his way without missing.  Unfortunately, he only lived with me in my Hollywood apartment for two years until he died.  I am sure the complete and proper diet was lacking for him and besides, who in their right mind keeps a large Toucan in a Hollywood apartment?  Oh, to have that same bird now, but who is rich enough to afford a Toco Toucan these days? 



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Copyright © 2011, Susie Christian