Purple-crested Turaco

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image: pcturaco.jpg

Common Name: Purple-crested Turaco

Scientific Name: Tauraco porphyreolophus

Size: 17 inches (42-46cm)

Habitat: Africa; Southwestern Uganda, Southeastern Kenya, Tanzania, East Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and East Zaire. Found in riverine forests, woodlands, thickets and moist brush from sea level to 1300m.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: unknown. Stable, common within its area.

Diet: Wild and cultivated fruits and to a lesser extent; flowers and insects.

Breeding: Male and female look alike. They built nests of twigs and sticks in the canopy and lay 2 to 3 eggs.

Cool Facts: Turacos come from the Musophagidae family which literally means “banana-eaters”. The Purple-crested Turaco has previously been considered parapathic with Musophaga, though it does bear morphological similarities with Tauraco species. The nominate features a salmon wash on anterior chest up towards the throat, around the neck and nape. This is lacking in T.p.chloroclamys whose neck plumage is olive green. Robust dark purple crest and metallic green on the lores and face to the coverts make for easy identification.

Often seen in the canopy, generally running and jumping from limb to limb hunting for fruit. They glide weakly from tree to tree giving the appearance of jumping from limb to limb rather than flying. The greenish color in the feathers comes from turacoverdin which is the only true green pigment in birds. Other greenish colors in birds actually come from a yellow pigment such as lypochrome which when combined with the prismatic bluish structure of the feather looks green. The red pigment in the wings comes from turacin. Both turacoverdin and turacin are unique to Turacos.


Found in Songbird ReMix Africa

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