Are Toucans Good Pets? Yes, Yes, And Yes!
This Is Why!

Does the curiosity of knowing whether Toucans make good pets or not bother you often? Let that worry go by reading this post.

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David A. Swanson

November 07, 2021

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What’s This Post About?

There’s a high chance that you have not seen this large-billed bird flying around, and the reason for this is because they are wild birds who prefer living in forests. Toucans are birds known for their unusual appearance, from having a large bright colored beak to small bodies.

Toucans are naturally found on canopies of the tallest trees of tropical forests, and they live in the hollow spaces carved out by woodpeckers. These birds are known for their bright-colored bill with an odd body-to-bill ratio.

Toucans are native to rainforests. However, they can make excellent pets because they have a very friendly and playful nature. They are more than what meets the eye; they are intelligent and social and can get along with humans pretty well.


Are Toucans Good Pets?

Toucans are social birds like crows and parrots, which means they do well around other birds and people. They are very communicative and friendly with humans. This is a plus because their appearance and personality are both very vibrant.

In addition, not only are they super mesmerizing, but they are also very affectionate with their human owners and can be extremely playful.


More importantly, if you, as a bird lover, have an eye for beautiful beings, you would not want to miss out on what these amazing little birds have to offer.

The unique and extraordinary appearance with the unusual body-to-bill ratio of toucans makes them stand out among most birds. The best part about having a toucan as a pet is that their bites are superficial and do not cause severe harm.


Despite their large size, toucans cannot take long flights and can only reach the canopies of the tallest trees in the tropical rainforest by hopping from one bark to another. This is because they love heights and are rarely found seated at the bottom of a tree.

Is it Safe to Keep Toucans as a Pet?

Toucans are among the quietest and peaceful birds and can be very sociable with humans if the owners raise them with care and attention. Unlike most birds, their beaks are not very hard, and hence they do not cause any injuries in case they show aggressive behavior, which is very rarely seen in these birds.


Toucans are known to be cuddly, playful, and affectionate—these personality traits make them excellent pets. However, their bills may seem scary at times, but you do not have to worry about that since they are not that sharp.

Toucans’ beaks are very lightweight and soft and comprise of twentieth of the birds’ overall mass.

In retrospect, parrots are mostly known for snapping metal grills since they can bite through tougher materials. Toucans, however, have very soft and foamy beaks with very little power in their beaks which they can only use to chew through softer things.


It is extremely important to provide toucans with fresh food every day. They cannot be fed with stale or expired food. This is because they are susceptible to a bad diet and expired, or rotten fruits can also cause serious health issues.

This primarily depends on the country you live in. Most countries have the sale of toucans wholly banned and prohibited as it is believed that they are not animals of captivity. In some countries, it is not even allowed to breed them in captivity, and you must check the laws before deciding what to do.


However, you can still enjoy the beautiful company of these unique birds by having a zoological certificate that can be obtained respecting the necessary codes in your country.

When it comes to the United States, you can keep a toucan as a pet. However, you must have a valid license to do so—however, the ideal way for a bird enthusiast to enjoy the sight of this bird is in the wild.

How Much Would It Cost To Keep A Pet Toucan?


Unlike most common pets, toucans are not cheap and easy to keep. Instead, they are one of the most expensive pets, and buying one in the United States can cost you about $10,000.

You can purchase a toucan from any legal breeder; however, do not forget that you will first have to find out if it is legal in your state to keep them in captivity or not.

In addition, if you think that only purchasing toucans can be expensive and maintaining them is cheap, you are highly mistaken.

Toucans are very expensive to maintain as they are the birds of the wild and need high maintenance. In addition, they require a continuous supply of exotic and fresh feed.

However, in circumstances where such options aren’t available, and you wish to take a chance with cheaper canned fruits, then do not do so.  

Further, in addition to the investment you make on the toucan along with its daily feed, you would also have to take into account the regular visits to the vet that you might have to make.

How to Care For Pet Toucans?

Excessive heat in the surrounding environment can be dangerous for a toucan’s health than extreme drops in temperature. Therefore, if they are exposed to extreme temperatures, you must immediately provide them with shade and a cooling source.


It is necessary to maintain optimum temperatures for pet toucans. They are sensitive to sudden temperature changes and require a high humidity level of about 60% to 80%.

Since toucans are tropical birds, their optimum temperature is around 18° Celsius to 28° Celsius. Therefore, it is best to keep them in an environment closest to their native living conditions.

In addition, these big-billed birds are frugivorous—they exclusively feed on fruit. However, they may need some protein intake which partially makes them omnivores.

You can feed them with multiple fruits, including banana, papaya, apple, pear, and mango. Still, you must also consider providing them with proteins by giving them some insects, small lizards, or rodents to feed on.

One of the most important things that they require is clean water with their fruity diet.


Toucans can be very adaptive to their surrounding environment, and they can tolerate a temperature rise or a drop till freezing temperature at night. However, both of these changes should be gradual.

What Do Toucans Eat?


There are about forty known species of toucans, and all of them have different diets. Most of the toucans are omnivores and primarily consume fruits that can provide them with the proper nutrition.

However, the overall dietary requirements of every species of a toucan are similar despite their variable sizes.

Many people complain about toucans dying prematurely under captivation, and that is because they are not careful with what they are feeding them. Although toucans mostly rely on fruit for nutrition, they still need to consume protein.

The reason these captivated toucans die without any apparent reason is their soft bills being sensitive to the high iron levels provided in their food intake.

A high iron diet can cause iron storage disease, which can be fatal for these gorgeous-looking birds. This disease occurs due to the abnormal accumulation of iron in the liver of toucans.

What Factors Should You Take Into Account Before Keeping a Toucan as a Pet?


Once you are sure about your intentions and have decided that you wish to keep a toucan as a pet, you must think about your budget and maintenance costs that will come along the way.

Another factor you must consider is the time and care you will have to give to them. Toucans may require sufficient attention and care for surviving in areas other than their habitat.


One species of toucan known as Swaisons Toucans can make an unusual noise like a whistling yelp.

How Long Do Toucans Survive as Pets?


Without external factors like predators, climate, and accidents, toucans can survive for around 15-20 years in good and healthy conditions.

This period is a great deal of time when it comes to the life expectancy of any bird. Hence, keeping them as pets can be good if you value having long-term companionship with pets.

Additionally, it has been observed that toucans living in the wild have less life expectancy than those living in captivity. In the wild, there are greater chances of succumbing to external factors such as predators.


Toucans are not like parrots when it comes to making screeching noises. They are very peaceful and quiet birds who only let out a sound when they feel like it. However, different species of toucans have different screeches, and some may even make annoying screeches. Overall, toucans are peaceful, producing croaking sounds time after time.

Are Toucans Endangered?


Most bird enthusiasts are concerned about a widespread view that toucans are endangered and rare at this point in time. Since toucans are majestic and unique-looking birds, most people think they might be threatened in the wild; however, this is not the case.

Despite their colorful and extraordinary appearance, they are not endangered, and none of the toucan species are facing extirpation. The reason for this is that they are protected by wildlife laws aggressively all across the globe.

Their population is not threatened, and they are not on the endangered list or the red list of endangered birds. They are in the safe range of the American pet trade list.

However, they are facing habitat loss because of massive deforestation, but they are thriving and managing well due to their adaptable nature.


Toucans can be very affectionate and cheerful if they are hand raised and well socialized with their owner. However, this does not mean that they do not show aggressive behavior during their mating season.


Keep Reading

Toucans are a fantastic option for a pet. The best part about having toucans as a pet is that they can live for a very long period providing more prolonged companionship.

They are the ideal pet for those people who get attached to their pets and want to spend a longer time with them.

In addition, another reason they are a good choice as pets is that they have a unique and majestic appearance rarely seen in most birds. Most people do not even know about toucans’ friendly nature until they start to pet them.

However, they are high-maintenance, expensive pets and may require a lot of your attention, care, and affection. Since toucans are a majestic creation, don’t miss out on reading this post to understand where do toucans live.

Where Do Toucans Live? Countries, Habitat, Maps, And More!

Are you an avid bird enthusiast but lack awareness of where do Toucans live? Read this post to find out all there is to know about their living.

David A. Swanson Picture

By David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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David A. Swanson Picture

David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!



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