Red-crested turaco

The red-crested turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) is a colorful bird species native to the forests and woodlands of Central and West Africa. Here’s a description of the red-crested turaco and its distribution:

Description of the Red-crested Turaco:

  • Appearance: The red-crested turaco is known for its vibrant plumage and distinctive appearance. It has a glossy green body with a bright red crest on top of its head, which gives the species its name. Its wings and tail are adorned with bold black and white markings. The beak is yellow and curved, and the eyes are surrounded by a ring of bare, bright blue skin.
  • Size: Red-crested turacos are medium-sized birds, with adults typically measuring around 40 to 45 centimeters (16 to 18 inches) in length from beak to tail.
  • Behavior: Red-crested turacos are arboreal birds, meaning they spend most of their time in trees. They are known for their agile and acrobatic movements as they navigate through the forest canopy in search of food. They have a loud and distinctive call that they use to communicate with each other.
  • Diet: The diet of red-crested turacos consists mainly of fruits, berries, and seeds. They have specialized digestive systems that allow them to consume a variety of fruits, including those with toxic compounds. They may also occasionally feed on insects and small invertebrates.
  • Habitat: Red-crested turacos inhabit a range of forested habitats, including rainforests, gallery forests, woodlands, and savannas with dense vegetation. They are typically found in areas with tall trees and access to fruit-bearing plants.
  • Reproduction: Breeding in red-crested turacos occurs during the wet season when food availability is high. They build bulky, cup-shaped nests in trees using twigs, leaves, and other plant materials. Females usually lay two eggs, which are incubated for around 21 to 23 days. Both parents participate in caring for the chicks.
  • Conservation Status: The red-crested turaco is currently classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While they face threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation and human activities, they are still relatively widespread and common in their range.


  • Red-crested turacos are found in Central and West Africa, inhabiting a broad range of countries across the region.
  • Their range extends from Guinea and Sierra Leone in West Africa, eastward through Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, and into parts of Uganda.
  • Within their range, red-crested turacos are typically found in forested areas with abundant fruiting trees and dense vegetation.

Red-crested turacos are charismatic birds known for their striking appearance and lively behaviors. Efforts to conserve their forest habitat and protect them from threats such as deforestation are essential for ensuring their continued survival in the wild.

Red-crested turaco in Zoos

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