Well, for absolutely no reason other than it popped into my head, today’s Blog is about toucans! My Toucan song is one of my favorites, and I discovered a while back that someone had used it for their video on Youtube and that tickled me no end!
The Toucan song was one of the first songs that I wrote, back in the early 90’s, when I set out to teach kids about ecology and sustainability. I’d heard a horrific story from a friend who was a pet store-owner, about toucans being smuggled into Canada in tennis ball containers. I know, hard to imagine, right, but apparently true.
There are many different kinds of toucans - the biggest and most recognized being the toco toucan from Brazil. Male toucans have the largest beak of any toucan and one of their favorite pastimes is “beak wrestling”! It’s true they have been seen actually doing this! Another game they play is a form of catch; they toss berries to one another!
Toucans live in the canopy layer of the rainforest, where they hang out eating fruits and seeds that grow there. These colorful birds do not have the greatest parenting reputation, as they are known to leave their nests for long periods of time! Nests are usually made in holes that they find in the trees.
Connections! Toucans and other fruit eating birds (or bats) help to disperse seeds throughout the forest, as the seeds are not digested and remain in the bird’s poop as it falls to the ground. With trees having to compete for space in the dense vegetation of the rainforest, it is extremely beneficial for a species to have their seeds spread out.
Here is a great article about how toucan’s beaks actually cool the birds down!
I also use the song to teach kids about pets - the responsibility of owning a pet that is - and it is useful as an example of consumerism. In the story, I buy the toucan; in reality, if we purchase a bird like that, it is likely to cause more birds to be captured from the forest. As consumers we have the power to make choices that can ultimately force companies, or people, to stop cruel or unreasonable practices.
I have posted the Toucan Song to my MySpace page with the lyrics.
By the way, I change the songs all the time because I am only allowed ten songs, so if you happen to read a blog and the song is not there just let me know and I will put it back up again!
For the earth,