This pretty toucan uses its large beak to grab fruit.
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Courtesy of Corel Photography
Tropical Rain Forest Birds
The birds of the rain forest are the most beautiful in the world. A wide range of colors can be seen darting through the trees as the forest tops come to life. Many species of tropical birds are kept as pets because of their looks.
Hundreds of species of parrot live in the rain forest. The scarlet macaw is just one of these. It is also one of the longest, stretching to a length of 3 feet from its head to the tip of its tail. When these macaws eat a poisonous fruit, they eat a special type of clay that neutralizes the poison.
Toucans are also very interesting birds. They have large beaks that they use to reach fruit they can't get to. Scientists estimate there are 33 species of toucan in the rain forest.
Not every tropical bird was blessed with looks. The hoatzin looks more like a peacock without the pretty tail. Hoatzins are terrible flyers - crash landings are common practice! The brown kiwi is a flightless bird that looks more like a rodent with a long beak and feathers. Kiwis live on the ground instead of the trees. They have special claws used for running, digging and defense.
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