Keepin it Clean: Toucan Bathtime

Paco, Paz, & Pepe love to take baths. It is a necessary, healthy activity for them to engage in as it removes any dirt and dander from their feathers and motivates them to preen themselves thoroughly. They currently seem to be on an every other day bathing schedule, although sometimes more often, depending on the weather. The rain seems to spark a deep-seated natural instinct in them bathe – it’s pretty much guaranteed that within a short period after a refreshing tropical shower, they’re all in their bowls, splashing and preening away. If it’s a particularly hot Caribbean day with not even a drizzle and if they seem in need of a refresh, I will play the part of the heavy cloud by taking out a hose and providing them with my own rendition of the Bellagio water show and it seems to do the trick just as well. 😉

Paz in her bath pan

The funny thing about our three toucans is their “monkey-see, monkey-do” lifestyle. Living next to each other, they always seem to be doing the same things at the same time. If Paz starts in on a good bath, Paco & Pepe will most often follow suit.

Beak scrubbing

Our birds have two options for bathing in their cages – one large water pan located next to their food station and one roomy water bowl on the ground, which is intended to simulate their natural behavior in the wild to bathe in puddles after a rain. The bath bowl on the ground is still a new idea to The Trio, as this is not something they were consistently provided with in their past lives. So, for the time being, Paz & Pepe still prefer to bathe in their main water pan, while Paco has taken quite well to the bottom bowl.

Paco in his bath bowl

A toucan bathing session generally lasts around 30 minutes, with preening continuing beyond that. They start slowly, just wetting their beak and face, then gradually continue to get more of their body wet, until they’re jumping completely into their bowl and are fully drenched.  It’s a lot of fun to watch – they’re hyper-focused on the task at hand and seemingly oblivious to any trivial distractions (ie. Me).

Watch the final stretches of Paz’s detailed bath as she dunks into her bowl and scrubs away…


After all the preening is finished, the toucans always seem contented and relaxed, ready to puff up for a good nap or to soak up any available sunbeams to warm up those wet feathers.

Post-bath puffy sunbathing

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