Twycross Zoo - Follow Your Heart

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Red-crested turaco

Scientific Name: Tauraco erythrolophus

The red-crested turaco is a brightly coloured bird with a white face, yellow beak and red crest. Their body feathers are mainly green with very dark green and blue wing feathers. Red-crested turacos are a poorly-studied species that only live in the tropical forests of Angola.The turaco has copper containing pigments in their feathers. This means they are truly red and green, which differs from most birds whose feathers just reflect that colour. If you stir a glass of water with a red turaco feather, the water will turn pink!

Both the male and female turaco build a loose nest of twigs three to five metres from the ground. Males and females share incubation duties and the chicks fledge around four weeks after hatching.

The diet of the red-crested turaco is varied, consisting of fruit, nuts and seeds and invertebrates.

The red-crested turaco is classed as Least Concern and they are described as locally common. However, war in Angola has led to high levels of habitat destruction that could threaten the survival of this species. The attractive markings of this bird make them vulnerable to collection for the pet trade. Any international trading of this bird is monitored to ensure populations are not adversely affected.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Distribution: Angola
  • Habitat: Tropical Forest
  • Diet: Fruit, Insects, Seeds
  • Weight: 210g – 325g
  • No. of young: 2 – 3
  • Life Span: 9 years