Red-Crested Turaco Fact File
The red crested turaco is a medium size bird with a green body. On their face the feathers are white and this surrounds a red eye. They have yellowish-green feathers on the breast and neck. On the underside it is colored a greenish-black. The small beak is yellow. On the top of the head is their namesake red crest of feathers with some of these tipped white. The crest measures up to 5cm (2in) tall. The wing feathers are colored blue. Their long tail is made up of blue feathers. The tail is used to help them balance.
Red crested turacos have legs and feet colored black. The outer toes are highly mobile allowing them to rotate back and forth.
Both the male and female look alike.
Unlike most birds which are colored green and red due to the reflection of light they have a pigment in their feathers which truly make it this color.
Their body length is between 40 and 43cm (16 and 17in) with an average weight being 200-325g (7-12oz).
The red crested turaco is an omnivore. They feed on a range of insects, fruits, nuts, leaves, flowers, seeds, acacia and figs. They are able to eat berries which are poisonous to humans.
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Red crested turacos can only be found in Angola in west Africa.
They make their home in forests, moist lowlands, woodlands, savannas and grasslands.
The red crested turaco is monogamous and pairs work together to establish and maintain a territory. Males begin the courtship by feeding the female.
Following a successful courtship the female and male will both work to build the nest which is flat and formed from sticks and twigs. This is located 5-20m (16.4-65.6ft) above the ground in a tree or shrub.
2-3 eggs are laid in the nest. Once these are laid the pair will take turns incubating the nest. After hatching the parents will regurgitate food for the chicks.
Fledging takes place within four weeks of hatching.
Red crested turacos make a vocalization that sounds like go-away. This has lead to the alternative name of the go-away bird.
They are relatively weak fliers and typically move downwards by gliding and then climb up trees by hopping.
The red crested turaco may move around in flocks of up to 30 birds.
Predators and Threats
Humans have reduced the population of the red crested turaco through habitat destruction and collection for the pet trade.
Their populations is decreasing but as yet is not low enough to class them as vulnerable.
A red crested turaco was featured in the Parent trap film (1998).
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BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Tauraco erythrolophus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/07/2020.
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