DRAPER, Utah — The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium announced the hatching of a new baby toucan in their aviary on Thursday.
The new chick and its colorful parents are Keel-billed toucans, a species of toucan native to southern Mexico and areas of Columbia and Venezuela. They are known for their brightly colored beaks of green, blue, orange, and purple.
The new arrival comes after the Aquarium expanded their aviary three years ago in order to create the ideal breeding conditions for the birds. This toucan species prefers to build their nests in tree canopies that are over 6000 feet above ground. To mimic these conditions, the Aquarium built a special nesting box and hung it near the top of the aviary.
“The current population of Keel-billed toucans is decreasing in the wild, so we are thrilled to see that our toucans are breeding and have a chick,” said John Wright, Curator of Mammals and Birds at the Aquarium.
On average, about six Keel-billed toucan chicks are born each year at facilities like the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. The species are considered a threatened species according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which hopes to bolster the population of the toucan in captivity as well as in the wild.
Aquarium staff are monitoring the chick via a webcam and they expect it to emerge from the nest sometime in August. While the chick is not viewable to Aquarium guests just yet, if you happen to visit, you can see the mother and father flying in and out of the nest.