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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Red-Crested Turaco: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Interesting red-crested turaco facts to make your day.

Vibrantly colored feathers, a white face, a yellow beak, and a short red crest on its head perfectly describes the beautiful go-away bird that is also known as the red-crested turaco. Tauraco erythrolophus is their scientific name and it is no wonder that these beautiful birds which are endemic only to Angola are also the country's national birds. They do not migrate from their native range. There are about 18 species of turacos found around the forests and shrublands of southern and western Africa.

These birds are omnivores that feed on fruits, leaves, seeds, flowers, and figs as well as snails, termites, and other types of insects alike. Interestingly, they have also been known to feed on a type of berries that are poisonous to other animals and humans. Despite being such big birds, they only have a lifespan of about five to nine years. There are many interesting facts about these birds, so read on to learn more!

If you like reading animal articles, please check out our guide to the Knysna turaco and the great blue turaco.

Red-Crested Turaco Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a red-crested turaco?

This is a bird species from the western range of Angola, it takes its name from the short red crest on its head and the back of its neck. These beautiful birds have vibrantly colored feathers throughout their bodies and white faces.

What class of animal does a red-crested turaco belong to?

Like all birds, the red-crested turaco is known to belong to the class of Aves. They lay eggs instead of giving birth to live chicks. They are omnivorous in their diet, with a habit of eating fruits, seeds, flowers, and figs alongside snails and termites on occasion.

How many red-crested turacos are there in the world?

It is hard to say just how many of these birds there are in the world, but they are listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, so it would be fair to assume that there are plenty of them populating their natural habitat in Angola. However, there have been reports of the population of red-crested turacos declining as a result of constant habitat destruction due to urbanization.

Where does a red-crested turaco live?

Red-crested turacos are a species that is found very commonly throughout their home range. Their home range is in Angola in the western part of Africa.

What is a red-crested turaco's habitat?

The red-crested turaco is known to nest in woodlands, shrublands, moist lowlands, savannas, and forests.

Who do red-crested turacos live with?

This bird species is known to be very social. They are sometimes found in flocks of as many as 30 individuals, who nest in closely distributed trees. Other than that, they also live in pairs of male and female birds.

How long does a red-crested turaco live?

The red-crested turaco is a big bird with a big weight to go with it, however, its lifespan is pretty short. On average, they live only as long as five to nine years.

How do they reproduce?

This species of birds is known to be monogamous and breeding pairs often maintain long-lasting bonds. Male birds are known to initiate the breeding process by feeding female birds. If the courtship is successful, the breeding pairs begin to build a nest together with twigs, roots, sticks, and leaves and work to maintain their territory. This nest is often flat and round in shape and it is located on a shrub or on a tree in forests. If the reproduction process is successful, about two to three eggs are known to be laid by the female. Both parents take turns to incubate the eggs for 21-24 days before they are hatched. Chicks are born vulnerable and are dependent on adults for feeding. These birds fledge at about four weeks old and live with their parents until they are fully independent.

What is their conservation status?

The red-crested turaco is listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List, so it can be assumed that there is no immediate threat of them going extinct in their home range anytime soon. However, due to an increase in habitat destruction for urbanization, there have been reports of their population declining, albeit very slowly.

Red-Crested Turaco Fun Facts

What do red-crested turacos look like?

The red-crested turaco is a beautiful bird with vibrant green feathers running through its whole body. They have a short red crest on their head, earning the name 'red-crested turaco'. The crest measures up to about 2 in (5 cm) tall. The face feathers are white and they surround red-colored eyes. Their beak is small and curved and it is colored yellow. Their flight feathers are a bluish-green as are the feathers on their long tail.

How cute are they?

Birds of this genus are very cute with their brilliantly colored feathers and a little red crest on their heads that earned them their name. They have a small beak that is curved and colored yellow which looks amazing in contrast to their green body and white face, giving them an even more colorful appearance!

How do they communicate?

Like all birds, the red-crested turaco, Tauraco erythrolophus is known to communicate through body gestures and a unique call. Their call sounds almost like the phrase 'go away' which is why they are also called the 'go away' bird!

How big is a red-crested turaco?

Red-crested turacos are big birds, with an average size of 16-19.7 in (40-50 cm). They are a little smaller than cuckoos, who are closely related to them with a length of 21.6-24.4 in (55-62 cm).

How fast can a red-crested turaco fly?

It is hard to say just how fast they can fly since there is a lack of data on this.

How much does a red-crested turaco weigh?

Red-crested turacos are big birds, with a weight that compliments their size. On average, they weigh about 7.5-11.5 oz (210-325 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Like most animal and bird species, red-crested turacos do not have specific names for males and females. They are just called male red-crested turacos and female red-crested turacos.

What would you call a baby red-crested turaco?

Babies of red-crested turaco, Tauraco erythrolophus, birds are called chicks. They are born vulnerable and depend on adults to feed them until they are old enough to feed themselves.

What do they eat?

Red-crested turacos are omnivorous in their diet and they feed on a variety of fruits, leaves, seeds, flowers, and figs. Other than that they also eat snails, termites, and other types of insects on occasion. They have also been known to be able to feed on a type of berries that can be poisonous to other animals and humans.

Are they dangerous?

On occasion, they have been known to become extremely aggressive during feedings or while defending their territory. Interestingly, sometimes even bonded pairs have been reported to show extreme aggression towards each other, so, it would be wise to be very careful while feeding them.

Would they make a good pet?

As they are wild birds like the ivory-billed woodpecker, the California quail, and the long-tailed tit, they need a lot of space to fly around and feel comfortable in. Aviaries should be very large as they nest in big trees and like to jump around from one branch to another. Another thing you have to keep in mind is that, even though they deal well with other types of birds, they can get extremely territorial with their own kind if their aviary is not big enough.

Did you know...

Unlike most animals and birds who look a certain color because of the light's reflection on their fur or feathers, the green color of these turacos is caused by a specific green pigment called turacoverdin.

What birds are the turaco related to?

These birds are closely related to cuckoos. In fact, turacos were members of the order Cuculiformes alongside cuckoos, but later taxonomy research caused them to be moved to the order of Musophagiformes.

How many species of turaco are there?

There are about 18 turaco species out there, including the famous plantain-eaters and these go-away birds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these carrion crow facts and Guam rail facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable red crested turaco coloring pages.

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