Violet/Violaceous Turaco

Violet/Violaceous Turaco Musophaga violacea

Type of Animal:

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

W Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. Disjunct population on Chad-Central African Republic border.

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)

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:

Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & aviculture

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:

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

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

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

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *