Black-mandibled Toucan
Background information
Taxonomy Birds
Status Vulnerable
Range South America
Habitat Rainforest
Feathers, fur Black Body
Yellow Throat
Pale Green Around the Eyes
Bi-color Beak (Yellow and Blackish)

The Black-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus) is a large toucan from northern South America. Its distribution ranges along the eastern slope of the Andes from Peru, north through Ecuador and Colombia, to Venezuela as far as the coastal ranges.

The Black-mandibled Toucan at one time was considered closely related to the Choco Toucan but is only distantly related per genetics. However, it is considered very closely related to the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan and the two are sometimes considered conspecific. The Black-mandibled and Chestnut-mandibled do not overlap in the wild and are found to differ 1.35% in mitochondrial DNA.


It lives at the altitudes of 100-2400 m. in humid montane forests, with a preference for the canopy and edge. It generally occurs at higher elevations (generally above 1000 m) than other Ramphastos toucans and competes directly with the similarly-sized White-throated Toucan where they overlap. Black-mandibleds are most common in areas where White-throated are rare, and vice versa.



Pair of toucan in real life.

This species has a total length of 47-61 cm (19-24 in) and weighs from 620 to 740 grams (1.4-1.6 lbs). The beak measures approximately 18 cm. Little to nothing is known about the Black-mandibled Toucan's behavior or life history but it is generally predicted to mirror that of the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan.

Movie Appearance

A group of Black-mandibled Toucans are seen huddled together in a coconut tree and coming out of a hole in another tree doing a line dance and then flying off of the tree's branch, during the "Real in Rio" opening of Rio.


In the Movie

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