Violet/Violaceous Turaco

ANIMAL:
Violet/Violaceous Turaco Musophaga violacea

Type of Animal:
Turaco

Habitat:
Forests, humid forest edge, woodland (open & closed), savanna, wetlands, gallery forests/forest edges/forest borders/forest fringes along streams/other watercourses in savanna, gallery forests/forest edges/forest borders along drainage channels w/ large fruiting trees, parks/gardens w/ tall trees, suburban parks, cultivated land, found from sea level to 3,280.84 ft

Location(s):
W Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. Disjunct population on Chad-Central African Republic border.

Appearance:
Glossy violet plumage, yellow forehead, chestnut red crown, white ear coverts, thick red bill, red inner wings, very colorful, long tail, young have claws on wings for climbing, semi-zygodactyl feet of 4 toes (4th toe reversible)

Food/Diet:
Fruits (favorites are bananas/plantains, figs, African corkwood fruit, & waterberries), berries, seeds, flowers, buds, foliage, leaves, vegetables, insects, snails, slugs, grubs, insect larvae

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 w/ 1-3 birds). Older offspring act as helpers for younger offspring.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Flock

Weight:
Male: 11.99 oz
Female: 10.76 oz
 
Gestation:
3.5-4 weeks 

Life Span:
10 years in wild, 30 years in captivity

Height:
1.583 ft

Body Length:
1.583 ft

Tail Length:
0.5 ft

Main predators are carnivorous/omnivorous mammals, predatory birds, crocodiles, snakes, & monitor lizards.
 
Has loud cooroo-cooroo call.
 
Due to frugivorous diet, they play an important role in seed dispersal.
 
Fairly shy in wild but somewhat tame in captivity.
 
1-3 (typically 2) oval, grayish-white eggs laid in flimsy tree platform nest, usually 20 ft off ground.
 
Sexually mature at a year old.
 
Usually breed once a year.
 
Despite coloration, they’re rather inconspicuous in wild due to camouflage.
 
Courtship involves male bowing & wing spreading, followed by pair feeding together.

Fun Fact(s):
These birds can release feathers when caught/threatened.
 
Greenish cast of feathers comes from unique pigment called turacoverdin. Turacin colors red feathers. In fact, name derives from turacin pigment. If immersed in water for 2-3 days, red feathers leach pigment & turn water pink.
 
Sometimes kept as pets in parts of range.
 
Also called “Violet/Violaceous Plantain Eaters” due to love of plantains.
 
Rather weak fliers, preferring to hop from branch to branch.

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