Chrissann and Paco the Toucan

My name is Chrissann and I am “The Toucan Lady”. My boyfriend David and I are the primary caregivers for three adult Toco toucans, which we adopted in June 2011. We live on a little island in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean and adventure is most definitely the best way to describe the years we have spent with our toucans thus far.

I had never owned a bird prior to the toucans, but had always been a lover of all animals from bunnies, to dogs, cats, lizards – you name it. My list of dream pets was always growing! However, until recently, birds were never on my radar – simply for the fact that I had never spent much time with any. Years ago, David used to breed and raise macaws. It was his stories of their intelligence and charming personalities that initially piqued my interest.

A couple of years ago, on our vacation in Columbia, I met my first toucan. Sitting in a beautiful restaurant’s tropical atrium, a Keel-Billed toucan named Clarita swooped down from the trees, landed on our table, and proceeded to steal the mint straight out of my mojito! I was hooked. It became a dream of mine to share my life with a toucan, albeit a fanciful one. I figured it would be unlikely that I would ever truly own a toucan – let alone so soon, let alone three! But fate stepped in and presented us with the opportunity to adopt our three toucans, who were already in our part of the world and in need of a new home – one we are beyond delighted to provide.


I originally created this site as a personal blog to document and share our experiences as “toucan newbies”. In the beginning, there was so much to learn about these mysterious creatures, every day brought a new discovery. There was (and still continues to be) very little information to be found on proper toucan care online, or even in publication. Over the years, motivated by wanting to provide my own Three-Cans with the best life possible, I have passionately pieced together any credible information I have been able to find through a mix of connecting with zookeepers, veterinarians, breeders, fellow toucan owners, and my own firsthand experience.

This site is my attempt to help fill the void and provide an honest, unbiased account of what it’s really like to have toucans as pets and how to properly and ethically care for toucans in captivity. I say “unbiased” because I am not a breeder and do not have any vested interest in convincing anyone to own toucans. Unfortunately, I have seen toucan breeders all too frequently glaze over the realistic details of toucan ownership in an attempt to sell birds by making it seem much easier/simpler/cheaper than it actually is. This sets both the toucans and potential owners up for failure – a sad reality I have witnessed myself several times.

Please keep in mind that the information I provide here is simply the best knowledge that I have available to me at any given time. I don’t profess to be an all-knowing toucan wizard, I just want to provide the facts as I have them because I believe information should be free – especially when it comes to the well-being of animals. If you have experience with toucans and have any useful knowledge that you would like to add (or any corrections to information I have provided), please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Chrissann Paco outside flight time

Please feel free to post your questions and comments throughout this site. If you would like to contact me directly, you may at [email protected] .

Chrissann Nickel Toco Toucan

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

52 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi 🙂 Hope you’re doing well with your beautiful Toucans. I’m so happy that I found this site so I can get some information about Toucans , Cuz I’m gonna get one next year. I’m 18 and I live in Iran. It’d be great if u gimme your FB account so we can keep in touch there. Thanks for everything 🙂

    • Hi Sadra,

      I apologize for my delayed response, this message got into my spam folder for some reason. Thank you for your note – I’d be happy to answer any questions you have, you can always email me at [email protected] . What type of toucan are you getting? I really do NOT recommend the larger toucans as pets for a variety of reasons – have you read my most recent post? Please let me know how I can help.

      Best wishes,

      Chrissann & the Cans

  2. Our two-year-old, William, just loves watching your toucan getting to grips with a boiled egg (we think it’s great too!). Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  3. I am so happy I found your blog. I cannot tell you how much I admire your dedication to these lovely birds. They certainly do appear to be thriving under your care.
    We will be in the North Sound during Feb. of 2013. We had already planned to stop at Saba Rock and now hope to meet the “Three cans” also.
    Is there anything we could bring them as a gift or would that not be in their best interest?

    • Thank you so much, I’m glad you found us too! I appreciate your kind offer for toucan gifts, but just your smiling face will be enough. It can be super tricky to pick out toucan toys. 😉

      We look forward to meeting you in February!

      Chrissann & the Cans

    • Such a gracious response. Is there anything we can bring you to help with your care of the birds or any of the other efforts you are making on the “rock”?

  4. I just love your three-cans and I really love the care you bestow upon them. I believe that we humans OWE them the very best of everything that we can provide.We owe them as compensation for removing them from the wild even though they probably have never been wild.But we still owe it to them as payment for their being our companions and letting us love them. Thank you for being such an excellent example of healthy bird human relationships.

    • Hi Eric,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. My sweet Three-Cans were in a sub-standard living situation prior to us adopting them and it breaks my heart. I feel it is my responsibility to give them a much better life and hopefully make up for the trust they lost in my fellow human beings. While they will never get to enjoy the experience of living in their natural habitat, I strive to provide them with the best life possible through diet, enrichment, and flight. I have big dreams for all I’d like to do for them in their time with me and look forward to all of the good times ahead.

      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment! Best wishes to you,

      Chrissann & the Cans

  5. Chrissann, I just read your blog post on Bird Tricks. I’ve been following Bird Tricks for a few years now. When I saw the second picture down I said to myself, “That looks like Saba Rock!” I finished reading the whole post, which I found to be very well written and informative, then followed the link here. And lo and behold you are on Saba Rock! I knew that view in the photo was familiar. It was the view from our kitchen on top of the rock. You see I lived on Saba Rock with my husband, Bert Kilbride, for almost 14 years, from 1983 – 2007. My blue and Gold Macaw, Feather L’feet, also lived with us that whole time. I got Feather in 1980. Unfortunately she died of cancer in 2009, a year after Bert died of old age at 94. I miss her, she was my traveling companion for 29 years!
    Anyway, I love your new babies. It looks like they have found the perfect human companion/caregiver. I’ll be following your blog and hope to hear from you. I plan on visiting Saba Rock on March 8th 2014 for Bert’s 100th b-day celebration. Hope I can meet you and your babies then.

    • Hi Gayla,

      Yes, I definitely recognize your name. Living here, I’m very familiar with all the Bert stories – he’s sounds like quite the character, you guys must have had so much fun here! That’s such a funny coincidence that you’re a Bird Tricks fan too – what a small world. There are still some random tourists who visit the island that ask about your macaw, thinking that as the resident bird lady, I must have known her. Now I at least know her name and that she has since passed. So sorry for your loss.

      Thank you for your kind words, I’m glad you found me. The Three-Cans and I are very happy to call Saba Rock home too and look forward to meeting you in a couple of years. Please do keep in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/adventuresintoucanland and you may see more Saba Rock pics there. 😉

      Best to you,

  6. Hello! I must be the world’s most toucan nerd! I stumbled across your blog by accident and I am so happy I did. I have loved this species ever since I did a report on them in like 8th grade. I have so many toucan collectables in my home, I could almost open a museum 🙂 I have worked for an avian vet in the St.Louis, Missouri area for the past 7 years. Unfortunatly though, we do not have any toucans that come in for care. I will be visiting your blog often. Your babies are just stunning. I sure would love to add one to my life one day. Thanks for sharing your birds!! Kara A. Sinclair

    • Hi Kara,

      Too funny – so glad you found me – I’m obviously a big toucan nerd myself!
      You can also follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/adventuresintoucanland.com ), where I post toucan pics and videos, if you’d like a daily toucan-fix. 😉

      I have something you can add to your toucan collectibles – can you send me your mailing address to [email protected] ?

      Thanks for your interest, best wishes!

  7. Chrissann does an amazing job with the threecans. I had so much fun watching Chrissann love and care for those birds. They are truly in the very best place with the very best care! Chrissann, e-mail me and I will give you the name of that book. Thanks for all the TLC you gave us too!!!!

  8. What great birds and what a great job you are doing with them. Not enough people care for their animals the way you do. Your animals must be some of the happiest in captivity anywhere in the world.Good job!.

    I was wondering why you keep them in individual cages?. Is this just help with training and bonding?.

    Throw them a mouse every week, they will love you for it.

    Your dedication is inspirational, hope to come and visit sometime.

    • Thank you, Steven – that’s so kind of you to say! I certainly am trying my very best to make their life here as amazing as possible – it’s only repaying the favor – they sure do light up my life as well 🙂 Hope you get to meet them someday, best wishes to you!

    • Sorry Stephen, I just realized I didn’t answer you question – the Three-Cans are separated due to their territorial nature and the fact that they have yet to be introduced to one another. I hope to socialize them as their training progresses in the hopes that they can at the very least enjoy some outside playtime together. Whether they will ever share living quarters, only time can tell.

  9. An enchanting website that offers an interesting and informative
    narrative about little known birds of beauty in our Virgin Gorda paradise!
    Your Terrific Toucans are a charming and entertaining addition to the already
    fabulous Rock – Saba!
    Thank you, Toucan Lady, for caring about de Lawd’s critters! Keep up the
    great work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *