Tauraco – Green turacos

The only living birds genus that contains a green pigment in its feathers

Green Turacos are among nature’s most splendid avian creations, with a dazzling display of vivid plumage unparalleled in the bird world. These birds boast a striking array of colors, most notably the vibrant greens that adorn their bodies. This green is not merely the result of light reflection and feather structure, as is common in many bird species but rather due to the actual green pigment—turacine—contained within their feathers, a unique characteristic among birds.

Their splendid royal crests, which rise majestically from the tops of their heads, add to their regal appearance, giving them an air of nobility. The crest can be raised or lowered depending on the bird’s mood and is often a part of their communication and display behaviors.

Native to the forests and woodlands of Africa, Green Turacos are a non-migratory species, adapting to life within a defined home range. They are most commonly found in the canopy, where their green plumage blends seamlessly with the leaves, providing them with camouflage against predators.

As frugivorous birds, Green Turacos have a diet primarily composed of fruits, which they forage from the trees. They play a crucial role in their ecosystems as seed dispersers, consuming fruits and later excreting the seeds over a wide area. This seed dispersal is vital for the regeneration of their forest habitats.

Despite their arboreal nature, Green Turacos are also quite capable on the ground, where they can walk with distinctive grace and agility. They are known to descend to the forest floor to feed on fallen fruits or to take dust baths, which help to maintain their feather condition.

The calls of Green Turacos are distinctive and can carry over long distances. They are often described as loud and gurgling, contributing to the rich tapestry of sounds within their habitat. Their vocalizations serve as a means to establish territorial boundaries, communicate with mates or offspring, and potentially deter predators or competitors.