The Jabiru is a large stork found in the Americas from Mexico to Argentina, except west of the Andes. It is most common in the Pantanal region of Brazil and the Eastern Chaco region of Paraguay. It is the only member of the genus Jabiru. The name comes from a Tupi–Guaraní language and means "swollen neck".
The name Jabiru has also been used for two other birds of a distinct genus: the Asian Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus), commonly called "Jabiru" in Australia; and sometimes also for the Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) of sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, Gardiner's Egyptian hieroglyph G29, believed to depict an E. senegalensis, is sometimes labeled "Jabiru" in hieroglyph lists. The Ephippiorhynchus are believed to be the Jabiru closest living cousins, indicating an Old World origin for the species.
The proposed Late Pleistocene fossil stork genus Prociconia from Brazil might actually belong in Jabiru. A fossil species of jabiru was found in the early Pliocene Codore Formation near Urumaco, Venezuela (Walsh & Sánchez 2008). In Portuguese, the bird is called jabiru, jaburu, tuiuiu, tuim-de-papo-vermelho ("red-necked tuim", in Mato Grosso) and cauauá (in the Amazon Basin).
The name tuiuiu is also used in southern Brazil for the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). The Jabiru is the tallest flying bird found in South America and Central America, often standing around the same height as the flightless and much heavier American Rhea, and has the second largest wingspan, after the Andean Condor.
The adult Jabiru is 120–140 cm long, 2.3–2.8 m across the wings, and can weigh 4.3–9 kg. Large males may stand as tall as 1.53 m. The beak, which measures 25–35 cm, is black and broad, slightly upturned, ending in a sharp point. Among other standard measurements, the tail measures 20–25 cm, the tarsus measures 28.5–39 cm long and the wing chord measures 58.5–73 cm.
The plumage is mostly white, but the head and upper neck are featherless and black, with a featherless red stretchable pouch at the base. The sexes are similar in appearance but the male is larger, which can be noticeable when the sexes are together. While it can give the impression of being an ungainly bird on the ground, the Jabiru is a powerful and graceful flier.
Toucans are members of the family Ramphastidae of near passerine birds from the Neotropics. The Ramphastidae family is most closely related to the American barbets. They are brightly marked and have large, often colorful bills. The family includes five genera and about forty different species.
The name of this bird group is derived from the Tupi word tukana, via Portuguese. Toucans are native to Southern Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean region. They generally live in tropical and sub-tropical regions. They make their nests in tree hollows and holes excavated by other animals such as woodpeckers—the toucan bill has very limited use as an excavation tool. Toucans are primarily frugivorous (fruit eating), but are opportunistically omnivorous and will take prey such as insects and small lizards.
Captive toucans have been reported to hunt insects actively in their cages, and it is possible to keep toucans on an insect-only diet. They also plunder nests of smaller birds, taking eggs and nestlings. This probably provides a crucial addition of protein to their diet. Certainly, apart from being systematically predatory as well as frugivorous, like many omnivorous birds, they particularly prefer animal food for feeding their chicks. However, in their range, toucans are the dominant frugivores, and as such play an extremely important ecological role as vectors for seed dispersal of fruiting trees.