Photo by Dave Womach Location: Costa Rica Shown: Keel Bill Toucan
The only way to test for iron storage disease in toucans is to do a liver biopsy and when Dave and I did so with our Swainson Toucan years ago, we found she was very high in iron because when we first got her we were told she couldn't have tap water but that bottled water was fine. Well, it wasn't! Only distilled water is fine for toucans (lack of iron and flushing of the system) and so we had to put her on black tea for a month.
Sounds crazy to give a bird tea but regular black tea is actually a healthy way to lower their iron levels. It's not something you want to give them all the time, only if you know your toucan has high iron levels.
You can read about how tea can lower iron absorption in an article here.
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.