Today’s blog is about the various sounds that emerald toucanets make to communicate.
I’ll start this blog off saying I am not an expert in bird behavior. What I’ve written in this blog is based mainly on my own observation of my birds, but also to a certain extent what I’ve heard from other toucan breeders and owners. Please feel welcome to share your own insight on toucan communication in the comments section.
Emerald toucanets will make a cat-like hissing sound when frightened. Hissing does not seem to mean the bird is angry as is the case with some animals, but only that the bird feels threatened.
Seems to be an expression of playfulness and enjoyment. Mine will make this sound while playing with toys, and while being pet. Both of them will also make this sound often times when I come home from work.
An emerald toucanet has a clucking sound that can build up to something that sounds somewhere between a cluck and a bark. This is the emerald toucanet’s way of calling to flock mates. Typically my birds will not make this sound if I’m in visual range.
Could as easily be called a coo, and often has a whine-like quality to it. I’m not so sure what this sound means as I am some of the other sounds that my toucanets make. The birds tend to make it when they are relaxed or falling asleep, and if I imitate this sound they will usually reply. I think it may be a sound that signifies the bird is feeling relaxed and content. Hal (my male) also makes another sound similar to this, but one which is slightly louder, and has a more raspy quality. This sound tends to be made when he is courting someone.
Emerald toucanets have a gentle almost laugh-like trill. Like the purr it is often made right when my fiance or I get home, it may be an expression that the bird is happy to see you, a friendly greeting of sorts perhaps.
The frog-like croaking of a toucanet seems to express curiosity, and an alert state. Particularly when combined with a flicking of the tail and a upward jerk of the head followed by a slower downward motion croaking is a call of alarm. Thus it is used by emerald toucanets to alert other birds of something that deserves attention.
There is a different croaking sound that an emerald toucanet will make which is a distress call, if you hear a somewhat loud croaking/grunting sound, check on your bird, as it may be hurt.
A snarl signifies a state of excitement. Often my toucanet Hal will snarl when he’s really intensely into playing, or if I have something that he REALLY wants. Hal has sometimes made this sound and the dove down at me in an attempt to steal something I have that he wants (no his dive bombings have never brought me, or anyone else any harm).