Just like you might wonder how closely related a human is to another human, you might have that same question with parrots and toucans.
However, when it comes to a question like this, it depends on how you define the term “related”.
The term related could mean in the sense of how humans and apes are “related” or it can mean how two brothers are “related”.
To answer this question…the answer is somewhat yes, parrots and toucans are kind-of related. Although a toucan is a family of birds and a parrot is an order of birds, the two are closely related to passerines. Passerines make up roughly 50% of the bird population and any bird that falls under that category can technically be deemed as being related.
When looking at the two, most people would assume they’re related by their appearance, which is an accurate guess.
Technically speaking, all birds came from one common ancestor which makes them all related in one way or another.
More specifically, the last common ancestor of a parrot and toucan is roughly found to be over 90-million years ago.
That’s a long time right?
Now since the two are loosely related, they do share a few similarities, but they also share a lot of differences.
Similarities between parrots and toucans
The main similarities between parrots and toucans don’t have to do with their somewhat relation, but convergent evolution.
A term used to describe the shared evolution of species based on their shared environment.
Meaning they have a lot of similarities because of where the environment they both shared together.
If you’re still not getting this, if a species of two different birds lived in the same jungle for millions of years, eventually both of the bird species will have similar characteristics as a result of their environment.
Hopefully, that makes sense.
Other than living in a similar environment, the two birds share the common feature of being colorful.
Something that’s easy for us to tell just by looking at them.
Plus, they both have the ability to fly and can fly in a relatively same way.
As for breeding, they both breed in the same sense that the males go out and look for a female to mate.
With the way they go about it, the notion of a male seeking a female is relevant to both birds.
Last, but not least, they’re similar in that they’re both common pets throughout the world.
Which kind of bird would you rather have as a pet?
Differences between parrots and toucans
Although the two share quite a few similarities as a result of sharing a similar environment, the two share a lot of differences.
For example, despite being able to fly, it’s a lot more common to see a parrot fly than it is to see a toucan.
Maybe this means toucans are lazier birds, but who knows.
As far as how they go about mating, the two are different between each other in that regard.
A toucan will attract a mate by flipping a fruit in the air and catching it in its beak.
Imagine if humans did that to attract a mate.
On the other hand, a parrot will attract a mate by feeding her and protecting her while she sleeps.
Sort of like an “ancient” way of attracting someone.
The biggest difference between a parrot and a toucan has to do with the overall maintenance of one.
Toucans are a lot more difficult to have as pets because of their need to have a larger cage, watery poop that’s harder to clean up (yuck), and an overall higher expense to maintain.
Basically, parrots are easier to manage and are less of a hassle than toucans.
Do parrots and toucans get along?
In most cases, yes parrots and toucans get along.
However, that isn’t completely factual for every scenario.
It all depends on each individual bird’s life experience and how they’ve reacted to other birds in the past.
Just like some dogs might be mean to other dogs, some birds might be meaner to other birds.
One thing to be aware of is that larger toucans tend to terrorize nestlings of smaller birds.
Meaning if you have a small baby parrot, you probably shouldn’t have it hang around a large toucan.
Think of toucans as bullies since they can be quite mean to other birds.
However, a lot of the time, they can be great pets.
Similar to parrots, toucans are friendly, cuddly, playful, and intelligent creatures which means they can certainly learn to be friendly to other birds if taught properly.
Wherever you end up adopting your toucan, just double-check with the person selling the toucan how the specific toucan has acted toward other birds.
Most of the time, you’ll be in the clear and can have a nice happy family of a toucan and a parrot.
Do parrots and toucans live in the same areas?
As noted earlier, parrots and toucans are tropical creatures which means they live in the same areas of the world.
They love rainforests and a large population of the two birds lives in the Amazon Rainforest; a rainforest that makes up roughly 33% of the entire world’s population of birds.
Pretty crazy right?
Imagine going there and being surrounded by birds.
It sounds like an interesting and fun trip to me.
Parrots are located in tropical and subtropical continents such as Australia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America, and Africa.
On the other hand, toucans are primarily located in South and Central America.
Highlighting how there are more areas in the world where there are parrots than toucans.
Another major difference between the two is that there are over 350 species of parrots, while there are only 40 species of toucans.
Part of this has to do with a wide range of places where parrots are located.
However, keep in mind that a lot of species of parrots are going extinct.
Some species having estimates of less than 100 total left.
It’s a pretty sad statistic but is, unfortunately, the reality of life.
What’s the average size of a parrot and toucan?
Since there are so many different sizes of a parrot and a toucan, there are a variety of shapes and sizes between the two.
On the small end, a buff-faced pygmy parrot weighs less than half an ounce and is roughly 3.4 inches in height.
Do you understand how small that is?
Pick up two quarters and measure a length of 3.4 inches.
That would be the exact weight and height of that specific parrot.
Now in the world of toucans, the smallest toucan is the red-breasted toucan.
The red-breasted toucan weighs around 12 ounces and is 42 to 48cm in length.
Definitely a lot larger than the smallest parrot.
On the large end, the biggest toucan is the toco toucan which weighs 1.4 pounds and has a length of 2 feet.
Whereas the largest parrot is the hyacinth macaw which is roughly 3.3 feet in length and weighs around 3 pounds.
So, although there aren’t any toucans that are as small as the smallest parrot, there are a lot of large parrots that can out-size any toucan.
Even though a parrot and a toucan aren’t closely related, they still share a bond of being birds that live in similar habitats, as well as having a common ancestor together.
No matter if you end up adopting a parrot or a toucan, the truth is they have a lot of similarities, but also a lot of differences.
A parrot is a more popular and easier pet to handle, whereas a toucan isn’t as popular to have as a pet and is a bit more difficult to manage.
In either scenario, make sure you have the means to properly take care of either or.
The worse case situation would be to adopt a parrot or toucan and not be able to take care of them.