Bird of the Month of September 2020 || The quietly flamboyant Toucanet

Toucanet is a relatively small and short-billed member of the Toucan family. While a Toucan is openly flamboyant with a conspicuous over-sized bill, a toucanet is more subtle, yet as beautiful. It is a quietish bird that still manages to be the center of attraction because of its grace and personality.

September isn't really the beginning or end or even the peak of any particular season. However, some of the most pleasant days and evenings, and some of the most brilliant sunsets can be seen during this month. It is the month that manages to shine on its own, without relying on any particular stamp. 


Toucanet is a relatively small and short-billed member of the Toucan family. While a Toucan is openly flamboyant with a conspicuous over-sized bill, a toucanet is more subtle, yet as beautiful. It is a quietish bird that still manages to be the center of attraction because of its grace and personality.


Remember that attractive yet restrained party guest who manages to somehow steal the show without trying much. Yes, that is the Toucanet. And yes, September is such a month. And the Toucanet is our Bird of the Month of September 2020.  For Birds of all the previous months of 2020, refer to this post.


Toucanet is a relatively small and short-billed member of the Toucan family. While a Toucan is openly flamboyant with a conspicuous over-sized bill, a toucanet is more subtle, yet as beautiful. It is a quietish bird that still manages to be the center of attraction because of its grace and personality.

Toucanet is a relatively small and short-billed member of the Toucan family. While a Toucan is openly flamboyant with a conspicuous over-sized bill, a toucanet is more subtle, yet as beautiful. It is a quietish bird that still manages to be the center of attraction because of its grace and personality. 


Toucanets are most often green in color with a colorful bill. In General, they are more symmetrical than the Toucan and less dramatic as well. These are elegant birds and you will just happen to chance upon them without much fanfare. And then you will be stunned, because they are truly beautiful. 



Toucanets are distant relatives of woodpeckers. They measure about 25–35 cm (10–14 inches) in length. This includes its large, yet light-weight, colorful bill and tail. The plumage is mostly green with blue markings. They are fairly long-lived with a lifespan of around 20 years.



Of all the Toucanets, the Emerald Toucanet has the widest range. They can be found in the mountainous regions of Mexico and also across Central America. These were the Toucanets we saw in Costa Rica. We also saw a Toucan in flight from a distance. 



In case of Emerald Toucanets, the sexes are alike in appearance, although the female may be smaller and bill may be slightly smaller. The body of this Toucanet is mainly green. The vent and tail-tip are rufous. The bill is black with yellow to the upper mandible. Depending upon the subspecies, there may also be a bright-blue patch on the throat. 

And what makes these birds even more special is that they came visiting as soon as we set foot in our homestay in Monteverde. VJ clicked the first photograph right outside our room. I, unfortunately, was sleeping then, tired from the long journey and the hike. I did miss these birds then, but had the good fortune of seeing them again during our day-long walk in the Monteverde National Park. 

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