Distkiiii Tion

Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan

I he most obvious feature of toucans is the brightly colored and massive bill. In this species there is an additional bright yellow horny plate on the outside of the upper mandible, the purpose of which is unknown. The long bill is used to help the bird reach for food, which consists mainly of fruit, with some insects and other small creatures. This species has the typical coloring of a mountain-toucan, with dark upperparts and mainly blue-gray underside, and the plumage is fine, with a hairy texture. It is a bird of mountain forest, occurring in pairs or small groups. At times these groups join flocks of mixed species to move through the forest looking for fruit and eating the insects that they disturb in the process. The usual call is a rising series of querulous, whining notes, uttered while the bird is hidden in foliage. The species also has a loud, rattling call.

• DlSTRIBl ITION W. Andes in S.YV. Colombia and \Y. Ecuador.

flu! yellow plate on side of bill

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