Description: Plate-billed mountain toucans are multi-colored birds. The plumage on the upperparts and wings are golden olive and the underparts are bright blue. The crown and neck are glossy black; the face has patches of yellowish green and the irises are bright red. The large, lightweight bill has black, red and ivory colors — half of the lower bill is dark red, it is ivory near the base of the upper bill, the extreme base of the upper bill is dark red and the rest of the bill is black. The lower portion on the back (rump) is yellow, the thighs are reddish brown and the gray tail feathers are tipped rufous. They have zygodactyl toes – two toes point forward and two point backward, helping them grasp and move around on branches.
Size: They grow to about 16.5 – 21 inches (42 to 53 cm) in length with the male weighing more than the female, about 11.1 ounces (315 gr) and 10.7 ounces (303 gr) respectively.
Behavior: They roost in pairs, families or small groups within their territory and forage togther in fruit rich trees.
Diet: Their diet consists mainly of fruit, but they will occasionally eat eggs and insects.
Communication: Most vocal of all the mountain toucans, Plate-billed mountain toucans can be heard over three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km). They make loud rattles and clicks in addition to the loud repeating tryyyyyyyk sound made by males and the drier ttttttttttt sound made by females.
Reproduction: Plate-billed mountain toucans are monogamous. Two or three shiny eggs are laid in the nest that is built high above the ground in a hollow area of the tree (usually abandoned woodpecker nests). The eggs are incubated by both parents for about 16 days. After hatching, the young fledge in 46-60 days.
Habitat/range: They inhabit high-altitude, humid montane forests in Colombia and Ecuador.
Status: This is the flagship bird of the La Planada Nature Reserve in Colombia. It is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List due to deforestation and illegal trade.