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The grey-breasted mountain toucan is a species of bird in the family Ramphastidae found in humid Highland forest, often at the tops of the trees, in the Andes of southern Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It remains locally fairly common, but has declined due to habitat loss. 


This species is distinguished from other mountain toucans by its colorful bill: red and black at the tip and yellow-green at the base, where there is a black, thumbprint-shaped mark. The black head is set off from the chestnut-brown back by a pale gray collar.

Distribution and habitat

it is found in Perú, ecuador and Colombia Most people associate toucans with hot, humid lowlands. Many of the approximately 40 toucan species do live in hot places, but there are also species in warm subtropical mountain forests. Higher up still are temperate habitats, particularly cloud forest, which is where you’ll find Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucans.

This species lives at higher elevations than any other toucan, except perhaps the closely related Hooded Mountain-Toucan of Peru and Bolivia. Either way, the Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan lives as high as a toucan can, in cool, rainy cloud forest between 7,500 and 11,000 feet elevation. Often, this bird is found at or near the treeline, where forest stops and open grassy or brushy páramo habitat begins.


the Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan is frugivorous (fruit-eating), feasting on a wide variety of fruits and berries. It will also consume insects, small reptiles, and bird eggs, particularly during nesting season, when both adults and chicks need extra protein.


Grey-breasted Mountain toucans are thought to breed from December to February in Colombia and from June to November in Ecuador and Peru. It is suspected that at these times in each region the number of plants that bear fruit is very high.


Toucans are social birds, usually being found in pairs or small groups. Unlike parrots, they don’t fly in compact bands. When toucans fly from one area to another, first one individual will fly and the others will follow one by one, with some straggling behind. However, they do all eventually make it to the same destination. Larger species of toucans have a flapping and gliding flight. Grey-breasted mountain toucans are arboreal, spending most time in tree canopies.

Coservation status

According to the IUCN Red List, in 1988 grey-breasted mountain toucans were considered threatened. However, in 1994 their status was lowered to near threatened/lower risk.