Fun Violaceous Turaco Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Violaceous turaco facts these birds are one of 23 different species of turacos and are found in West Africa
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.3 Min

The violaceous turaco (Musophaga violacea) is also known as a violaceous plantain eater for its love for the fruit from Africa. These are large turacos and only the ones in the species without a crest.

They are mostly known for the remarkable bluish-violet plumage in the body, a crimson head crown, and feathers. The crimson primary flight feathers of the violet turaco contrast with the violet plumage as most turaco birds have red-colored wings. They also have a yellow forehead.

Even with the bright body, the birds remain inconspicuous in the forest with little or no movement on the top of the tree. The consistency of flight of these birds is very little, and they prefer running rather than flying.

There are 23 species of turacos found in Africa in their natural wild habitat. Read some fun facts about another species called the Knysna turaco or ready about cockatiels only on the Kidadl website.

Violaceous Turaco Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a violaceous turaco?

The violet turaco is a species of turaco birds found in the wild habitat of West Africa.

What class of animal does a violaceous turaco belong to?

The violet turaco falls under the class of Aves in the kingdom of Animalia. Cuckoos, turacos, and bustards are all part of the African Otidimorphae. Turacos share the same order as cuckoos and road runners.

How many violaceous turacoes are there in the world?

The population of these birds is unknown.

Where does a violaceous turaco live?

The bird is primarily found in the forests of tropical West Africa. The range also includes Gambia and Senegal, to Cameroon. An isolated population of the violet turaco is found in the Central African Republic and Chad.

What is a violaceous turaco's habitat?

The violet turaco is found in tropical savannas, wetlands, woodlands, and forests. The birds are pretty inconspicuous at the tip of the tree in this habitat and cannot be seen easily. They can also be seen sometimes in the riverine forest and humid forest edge.

Who do violaceous turacoes live with?

The violet turaco is a very friendly and social bird and found in flocks of 10-12 birds. During breeding, they are often found in pairs.

How long does a violaceous turaco live?

In the wild, these birds are known to live for up to 10 years. In captivity, with proper care, they can live up to the age of 30 years.

How do they reproduce?

The courtship involves calls and bowing and spreading of wing feathers by the males. They feed and make the nest together. The breeding season is from June to October in Nigeria and April in Senegal and Gambia.

The nest is made of a leafy tree with sticks and twigs. Two white-green eggs are laid and incubated for three weeks by both sexes.

The chicks become active in two to three weeks. Flight is achieved in four to five weeks and depends on the parents for food. In a year, the young birds get their full-body coloration.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the violet turaco (Musophaga violacea) is categorized as of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

Although due to the high intensity of Pet trade going on nowadays, the population has been decreasing at a faster rate and the status of Least Concern can change very fast. Pet trade for their violet plumage and beautiful feathers has increased tenfold in the last decade.  

Violaceous Turaco Fun Facts

What do violaceous turacoes look like?

The violet turaco has a bright glossy violet body with a red bill and a yellow forehead.

The violet turaco (Musophaga violacea) has a glossy violet body with a red bill. A crimson crown can be seen with a yellow shield on the forehead. All turacos have crimson color in the wings. The crimson primary flight feathers of the violet turacos contrast with the violet plumage of the birds.

They have a long tail with washed green color. The lower belly and the thighs are colored black. The ear-coverts are white. Their legs and feet are also blackish.

Females and males look the same. The young have a matte-black head and a blackish bill. The colors in the head are lacking. They also have reversible outside claws that help them get to the end of branches to pick fruit.

How cute are they?

The bright coloration on the bodies of these birds makes the species very beautiful. In spite of the huge problem of pet trade that these turacoes have been going through because of their beautiful feathers and plumage, they have been categorized as of Least Concern for the moment.

How do they communicate?

Violet turaco birds have a loud 'cooroo-cooroo' call. This call can be heard clearly in the wild. They are also called go-away birds because of their loud calls.

How big is a violaceous turaco?

The length of these birds ranges from 17.7-19.7 in (45-50 cm). The wingspan is around 8.3 in (21 cm). The length of the black cuckoo, found in Africa (similar to the violet turaco), ranges from 11-12.2 in (27.94-30.98 cm).

How fast can a violaceous turaco fly?

These birds are not good at flight and not fast flyers. However, they can run pretty quickly along branches in the forests. They use their tail feathers for balance.

How much does a violaceous turaco weigh?

The weight of the birds is around 0.8 lb (360 g). The weight of all the species of bustard range from 1-42.2 lb (0.45-19.1 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of this species of birds are not given different names. They are commonly known as violaceous turaco (Musophaga violacea).

What would you call a baby violaceous turaco?

Babies of almost all birds are called chicks.

What do they eat?

The diet of the violet turaco includes fruits, berries, and figs. Their diet also includes seeds, leaves, buds, flowers, snails, and slugs. During the nesting period, they feed on insect larvae for the required protein intake.

The Violet Turaco of West Africa is included in the diet of many different animals and birds in the wild. Many cats, foxes, and rodents include the Violet Turacos in their diet. In the wild, or when in flight, the birds are also attacked by many different birds of prey species like eagles, hawks, and vultures.

Are they dangerous?

The birds are not at all dangerous. Even with the bright violet plumage, they are always inconspicuous in the range of trees in the forests they live in.

Would they make a good pet?

Turacos are not the same as parrots and other indoor pet birds. The violet turacos are a very hardy species that live for long if taken care of properly. They are very active and need large aviaries to move along branches of the tree in the cage. If all these criteria are met, they can be a good companion.

The pet trade has affected the lives of this species a lot as many die during transport to different parts of the world. However, the status currently for the species is currently of Least Concern.

Please check local laws and regulations about keeping these species of parrots as pets.

Did you know...

They can be considered endemic to West Africa and are not known to migrate.

What does turaco mean?

The pigment called turacoverdin is the only known true green pigment found in birds. It is present in turacos, hence the name was given. The wings of turacos also contain the red pigment Turacin. Other bird species get red coloration from carotenoids.

How many species of turaco are there?

There are 23 species of turacos found in the world. They live in forests south of the Sahara in Africa.

These birds are endemic to the habitat of the African continent. The violet turacos are found only in West Africa. The violet turacos are found in more than 20 countries in West Africa, which range from Gambia and Senegal to Cameroon.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our stock dove facts and owl fun facts pages.

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

forests of tropical west africa central african republic gambia and senegal

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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