Toco Toucans found nesting near REGUA

Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco at nest, near REGA, 16 October 2016 (© Alan Martin)

On 15th October, REGUA volunteer Alan Martin and our bird guide Adilei spent a few hours driving around the roads towards the Vecchi area, about 9km from REGUA, looking for some of the ‘trash habitat’ birds that are often overlooked by visitors and not so easy to find at REGUA now that the reforestation is maturing.

Such species include Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch Emberizoides herbicola, Grassland Yellow-Finch Sicalis luteola, Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove Columbina minuta, Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix, Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia and many more.

Two weeks ago Adilei had seen a Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco in this area and as we were passing Adilei played a recording of the call, without any great expectation of a sighting. However almost immediately a Toco Toucan stuck his head out of a nest hole in a dead palm tree beside the road, then further down the same road another bird was seen doing the same thing.

Toco Toucan is only a very occasional visitor to REGUA, mainly to the wetland area. Now we know of at least two breeding pairs of Toco Toucans in the local area – how long will it be before they are regular visitors to the reserve?