Thirsty: Water for Toucans

In the weeks before we picked up our three Tocos, as you can imagine, I was already lost in the Toucanland of the Worldwide Web. I couldn’t get enough – I soaked up every piece of information that I could find, trying my best to properly prepare for their arrival.

One of the most curious subjects to me was regarding toucans and their water needs. Most all sources were in agreement that toucans don’t really drink much water, as they get most all of their hydration from their moisture-rich fruit diet. I read that they mostly only need water provided in large bowls for bathing.  Most sources recommend placing a bowl deep enough to accommodate their large beak on the aviary floor, to mimic their natural behavior in the wild of bathing in puddles on the ground after a rain.

Main Toucan Drinking Pan

Toucan Bathing Bowl

From what I can tell, at their last home, our birds weren’t consistently provided with a bowl large enough to bathe in on the ground. I only saw a small bowl located next to their food for drinking. So, in an effort to make an easy transition for the birds, while still providing them with what most experts find is best – we did both. We provide a heavy 9″ x 13″ pewter pan on a shelf next to their food for drinking water, then also have large pewter bowls on the cage floor for bathing.


So far, our toucans drink more water than I expected – taking long, satisfying sips throughout the day. Paco has adapted quickly to his new set-up: bathing in the bowl on the floor and reserving his food station water pan for drinking. Creatures of habit, both Paz & Pepe still have yet to bathe in the floor bowls, preferring to both drink and clean themselves in their main water pan. Hopefully one day they will discover the delights of the floor’s bathing bowl and be able to enjoy both.

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One thought on “Thirsty: Water for Toucans

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