Turaco (Red-Crested) / Tauraco erythrolophus

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Turacos have unique copper pigments in their feathers which produce their vivid red-green colouring

When alarmed by danger turacos often lift their wings to expose a flash of bright red colour underneath. This so-called flash colouration startles potential predators

These highly colourful birds are natives of the West African forests and grassland. The bright colours are created by two pigments, both containing copper, and found only in turacos. Turacin is the pigment which gives the red colour and turacoverdin gives them their green colour.

Turacos spend most of their time in the forest canopy where they can be found in groups of up to 30 individuals. They are omnivorous feeding on a range of foods, from fruit, nuts seeds and berries to invertebrates.

Turacos form monogamous breeding pairs (they mate for life). During courtship the male can be observed feeding the female. Nest building is undertaken by both sexes, as is incubation and care of their chicks. Other members of the larger group may also feed the chicks.