Red-Crested Turaco

ANIMAL:
Red-Crested Turaco Tauraco erythrolophus

Type of Animal:
Turaco

Habitat:
Forests, forest edges, woodlands, savanna, grasslands w/ trees/bushes, moist lowlands, escarpments, steep cliffs adjacent to forests/savannas, plains

Location(s):
W Angola

Appearance:
Green body w/ long bluish-green tail, tall red crest, red eyes, yellowish-green beak, whitish on sides of face, red & green inner wings, semi-zygodactyl feet, juveniles duller than adults, chicks hatch w/ thick black down feathers which fades at 1 month old, get adult color at 4 months old

Food/Diet:
Fruits, seeds, berries, nuts, flowers, leaves, acacia, invertebrates

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & aviculture

Lifestyle:
Monogamous pairs or family flocks of monogamous pair w/ 1-4 sets of offspring (each set having 1-3 birds). Older offspring act as helpers.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Flock
 
Weight:
Male: 11.46 oz
Female: 7.4 oz
 
Gestation:
3 weeks 

Life Span:
9-11 years

Height:
1.31-1.41 ft

Body Length:
1.31-1.41 ft

Tail Length:
0.5 ft

Main predators are carnivorous/omnivorous mammals, predatory birds, crocodiles, snakes, & monitor lizards.
 
Due to frugivorous diet, they play an important role in seed dispersal.
 
Sexually mature at 10-12 months.
 
Uses long tails for balance & feet for gripping.
 
Sometimes persecuted as pests due to destructive feeding habits to crops/gardens.
 
Deep barking call somewhat similar to monkey-female higher pitched than male.
 
Fairly shy in wild but somewhat tame in captivity.
 
1-3 eggs typically laid in flimsy nest 16.4-65.62 ft above ground.
 
Most vocal at dawn.
 
Courtship starts w/ pairs spreading wings, exposing crimson red patches. Then, male courtship feeds female.
 
Also called Angolan Turaco.
 
While stable, potential threats are civil war, habitat loss, deforestation, persecution as crop/garden pests, & pet trade.

Fun Fact(s):
Once chicks hatch, parents eat eggshells.
 
Cool themselves by gular fluttering, in which they open mouth, fluttering upper throat muscles.
 
Crest can stand about 2 in when excited.
 
Like all turacos, they’re weak fliers, preferring hopping from branch to branch.
 
Green feathers come from unique pigment called turacoverdin. Turacin colors red inner wing feathers. In fact, name “turaco” derives from turacin pigment.
 
National bird of Angola.
Red-crested turaco, stock photo

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