Like all toucan species, Ramphastos toco nests in cavities high in the forest trees. It favors holes that are barely wide enough for it to fit and it often returns to the same hole for several years. The breeding season of this bird varies with the region. It typically lays 2-4 pure white eggs. Both parents share the duties of nesting. In order to fit within the confines of the small nesting cavity, the parents flex their long tails forward over their backs. Ramphastos toco only has one clutch per year. This species gives birth to altricial young. The eggs hatch after 16 to 20 days (Phoenix Zoo, 1995). When the young hatch, they are naked and blind. At first, they do not look like toucans at all. Their lower bill projects beyond the tip of the upper and the soft tongue completely fills the bill cavity. The bill gradually grows to adult proportions. The development of the young is very slow. The eyes open at 3 weeks and the bill does not reach full size and coloring until several months later. Other distinctive features of the young are the specialized pads on their heels that are used as a form of protection against the rough floor of the nest. The pads remain until the young fledge and completely disappear by the time they are adults. The young are cared for by both parents until they leave the nest at 6 weeks. The life span of this bird is approximately ten years (Whitfield, 1988).
Key Reproductive Features: Iteroparous; Gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); Sexual; Oviparous