Turaco (Violet)

Musophaga violacea

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

For more info on classifications, visit www.iucnredlist.org

Least Concern

Factfile

Where they live

west Africa in Gambia, southern Senegal, southern Mali, southwest Burkina Faso, southwest Niger, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, northern Nigeria and northwest Cameroon

Habitat

found around dry savannas in forest margins, gallery woodlands, and tree stands along rivers

Size

45cm long, including a long tail, wing span 21cm

Weight

360g

Lifespan

10 years

Threats

destruction of gallery forest and riverine woodlands is a big threat. There is also some danger from trapping for the pet trade and killing for their red feathers.

Did you know...

  • Like all turacos, the violet turaco is an important seed dispersing agents in the forest

More about Violet turacos...

Violet turacos are also known as violaceous turacos or violet plantain-eaters.

Their plumage is a glossy violet colour, except for their thick orange bill, yellow forehead and crimson crown. The main flight feathers on the wings are also crimson in colour. Despite these bright colours the birds are often quite indistinguishable in the dense canopy of the forest.

Turacos are social birds, travelling in flocks of around ten to twelve individuals. Their diet consists of fruit, and they are quite partial to figs, but they will also eat leaves, buds, flowers, insects, snails and slugs.

Mating is generally timed to the coming of the rainy season.

The female lays two white or greenish eggs eggs in a nest built out of twigs.

The eggs are incubated for approximately three weeks.

Hatchlings are covered in a thick grey down.

Brooding, feeding and removal of faecal sacs is carried out by both parents.

The young are fed regurgitated fruit.

By day 18, they have fledged and are eager to clamber around nearby branches.

Around day 30, they’re ready to fly. The young turacos are fully coloured by the time they are a year old.

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