Meet the toucan (1910)

A grotesque bird

Remarkable assortment of colors of the Brazilian toucan

The very peculiar-looking Brazilian bird, the toucan, has a body about as big as that of a good-sized parrot, but its beak is very different and easily its dominant feature, though this bird is by no means lacking in bright and striking colors.

The toucan’s beak is half as long as its body, and it is broad and thin and set on edge vertically, ihaped something like a blunted scythe, with the slightly curving, rounded edge on top and ending with a hook point turned downward — a remarkable beak in size and shape — and this beak is tinted with a remarkable assortment of colors, purple and red and green and yellow, while around he beak at the bead runs a line of black.

The eyes of the toucan are surrounded by circles of a bright light blue, and on its breast, regularly outlined, is a broad and deep expanse of bright yellow in size and shape in proportion to the bird about the same as the generous expanse of shirt front shown by a man in evening dress with his waist cat cut low and well-rounded out at the bottom, this show of yellow being edged with a red line. The toucan’s body, for the bulk of it, is black or a very deep blue black, but around at the base of the tall run two bands of color, one red and one white.

It is not a song bird. It is sold as a pet, not for children, but to adults, ind it is more often fancied by men than by women. It takes $25 to $50 to buy a toucan. – New York Sun


Toucan photo by Tambako the Jaguar

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