Red-crested Turacos, Tauraco erythrolophusimage credit: Pixxl

image credit: giles.breton

Red-crested Turacos, Tauraco erythrolophusimage credit: monti2008

Red-crested Turacos, Tauraco erythrolophusimage credit: if-by-whiskey
Habitat: Restricted to the African continent, south of the Sahara from Angola to the Congo
Status: Not listed

Red-crested Turacos (Tauraco erythrolophus) have some pretty cool characteristics that I’d just love to share with you all:

  • Turacos are the only birds to possess true red and green color. When you look at most birds, the color you are seeing is a reflection produced by the feather structure. The turaco’s red pigment (turacin) and green pigment (turacoverdin) both contain copper. In fact, if you stirred a glass of water with a red turaco feather, the water would turn pink! In museum species, the pigments deepen with age because the copper begins to oxidize.
  • These birds have mobile outer toes, which they are able to rotate forward or backward.
  • The call of a turaco sounds like “g’way”, which is why they are often referred to as go-away birds.
  • On their heads is a beautiful crest, which stands about 5 cm (2 in.) when they are excited.
  • Turacos live in large flocks of up to 30 individuals. They are monogamous in breeding. During courtship, the male turaco will feed the female. Together, they build their nest; mother and father take turns sitting on the eggs. Once the eggs have hatched, other flock members help the new mother care for the chicks.

That fact about the red and green was new to me! What about you?

facts via: Animal Bytes