Chestnut-mandibled toucan in nest cavity, Costa Rica
© Greg Basco/Minden Picture
That bill's just not going to fit
Today we're visiting Costa Rica, where this magnificent chestnut-mandibled toucan is fashioning a nest in the cavity of a tree. It can be hard to find a suitable space for this, the largest toucan in Costa Rica, so mating pairs will often use an abandoned woodpecker's nest or find a large hole in a decaying part of a tree. This one seems perfectly form-fitting.
The female will lay two to four eggs and then both sexes will take turns incubating them until the chicks hatch two weeks later. And no, the newborn chicks don't have those ginormous bills—they're born blind and naked, with short bills—something that must please their parents while they share this small space. After about six weeks, the fledglings will make their own way into the forest, plucking fruit with the tips of their bills, sometimes tossing it into the air and letting it fall into their throats.