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Red-crested Turaco

 

Scientific name: Tauraco erythrolophus

IUCN World Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

The national bird of Angola, this bird is striking. They are the only birds in the world to possess true red and green
colouration. Pigments of the turaco’s red and green plumage contain traces of copper. If you stirred a glass of water with a red turaco feather, the water would turn pink!

The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction. It has become a national icon for bird and forest conservation. Living up to 10 years, turacos nest in large flocks of up to 30 individuals. They have unusual mobile outer toes, which they are able to rotate forward or backward.

Habitat

Turacos are commonly found along steep cliffs in Angola, adjacent to
forested and savanna habitats.

Diet

Their diet consists of fruit, flowers, leaves, termites, seeds, acacia, figs and snails. They also play an important role in seed dispersal by messily eating fruit.

Lifecycle

They are monogamous in breeding. During courtship, the male turaco will feed the female and together will build a loose nest of twigs, three to five metres from the ground. Four weeks after, eggs have hatched, other flock members help the new mother care for the chicks.