How a Swainson Toucan Sleeps

Swainson Toucan sleeping
Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Reno, Nevada Sleeper: Swainson Toucan "Meaka"

One of my favorite things about Toucans is how they sleep. This picture is of Meaka, a Swainson Toucan I adopted from a lady in Sandpoint, Idaho of all places. She owned a petshop there and Meaka's original name was Skittles. She didn't know her name yet, so I chose to rename her. Her most commonly used nicknames was "Sneak a peak Meak" because she was always really quiet as if sneaking around and always curious about what everyone was doing so she would constantly look around or try to see around the nearest corner. Meaka was around a year old or so when I adopted her, the same age as Fiji, my other Swainson Toucan of whom I had since she was 6 months old.

This photo was taken while we were on the road, in a hotel bathroom where Meaka got the entire thing to herself! I think the way toucan's sleep is the most adorable position - especially how they get into it. If only I could catch that on video! They will begin my fluffing up and getting really cozy in their spot of choice. Once they are fluffed they will move their head up and down on their back feathers and if to burrow a spot for their beak to eventually sit. Then they will ruffle again, and stick their tail straight up in the air! This is hilarious because you can then see the orange-red colored feathers they have that you can't usually see otherwise. Once their confident in the fact that they're going to sleep, they ruffle a bunch more and tune their head back finding a comfortable spot in their back feathers. The feathers then fluff from there, burrowing around their head and good luck waking them up from there!  

My toucans are the deepest sleepers out of my entire flock and if you do manage to wake them, they will be the most confused animal you've ever seen! They need around 12-14 hours of sleep and if they don't get it, you're done for! Meaka is now a breeder bird in the proud home of Emerald Forest Birds. You can check out their website to see her in their beautiful large aviaries in Fallbrook, California.

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.

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