As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Going Wild: Cha Cha, Carlos the Toco Toucans

Published 11:48 PM HADT Jun 13, 2014

HONOLULU —Toco Toucans are best known as the fruit-eating bird on Fruit Loops boxes, but there's something else in their diet that's turning heads.

The birds hail from South America and have a sharp chirp.
Ramphastos toco -Birdworld, Farnham, Surrey, England-8a.jpg
"They have a really beautiful red-yellow-orange bill and a shark contrast between black and white," said James Breeden, a zoo keeper.

Beneath the colorful surfaces there's a darker side. Birds like Cha Cha and Carlos eat much more than fruit loops.
"A lot of people don't know that the beak is also used for reaching down into bird nests to grab chicks, so a lot of people think that these birds are only fruit eaters. But, they also eat other bird species," said Breeden.

Over the years, their beaks have adapted in shape to what they eat; adding more space with little weight.

"One of the modifications of a Toco Toucan is to have a really hollow beak, so it would look much like a honeycomb," said Breeden.

Keepers say the lighter they are, the easier it is for them to fly away with food.

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