- Common Name
- Guinea turaco, green turaco
- Genus Species
- Tauraco (imitation of the bird's cry) persa
- The Guinea turaco is a medium-sized, green bird with a long tail, a tall crest, red eyes, and a red beak.
- 47 to 50 cm (19 to 20 in.)
- Less than 0.45 kg (less than 1 lbs.)
- Their diet includes fruit, flowers, leaves, termites, seed pods, acacia, figs, and snails.
- 21 to 24 days
- Clutch Size
- 2 to 3 eggs
- Fledging Duration
- Approximately 4 weeks to fledge
- Sexual Maturity
- 1 to 2 years
- Life Span
- 5 to 9 years
- This species has an extremely large range and can be found in Western Africa from Senegal to Central African Republic, and as far south as Angola.
- Found in forest and savanna areas
- The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be fairly common over much of its range. The population appears to be stable and is not severely fragmented.
- IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed
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.
These birds have a beautiful crest of feathers on their head which can stand about 5 cm (2 in.) tall when they are excited.
Turacos live in large flocks of up to 30 individuals.
Turacos are monogamous birds. During courtship, the male will feed the female. Together, they build their nest and the 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. Chicks can fly at 4 weeks of age. They may leave the nest at 6 weeks of age or decide to stay with the flock.
Ecology and Conservation
Turacos are a source of food for many predators.
These birds are so abundant in Africa that they are considered a pest. Their feeding habits are very destructive to farming operations. However, these birds do aid forest renewal through seed dispersal. They also eat berries that are considered highly poisonous to humans.
Austin, G. Birds of the World. Golden Press, Inc., New York. 1961.
Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. Blandford Books Ltd., UK. 1981.
Perrins, C. M. and A.L.A. Middleton, Eds. The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Pub. 1985.
Simpson, D.P. Cassell's Latin Dictionary. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York. 1959.
BirdLife International. 2016. Tauraco persa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22688312A93192041. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22688312A93192041.en. Downloaded on 06 March 2019.