Purple-crested turaco

Purple-crested turaco
Tauraco porphyreolophus
(Photo from Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
purple-crested turaco (en); turaco-de-crista-violeta (pt); touraco à huppe splendide (fr); turaco crestimorado (es); glanzhaubenturako (de)

Order Cuculiformes
Family Musophagidae

This African species is found from Uganda and Tanzania to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and eastern South Africa.

These birds are 40-46 cm long and weigh 200-290 g.

Purple-crested turacos are mostly found in dense moist woodlands and evergreen forests, often along river banks. They are also found in thick scrublands, coastal forests, plantations and rural gardens. These birds are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.850 m.

They mostly eat the fruits of a wide variety of plants, mostly wild native plants but also cultivated fruits like guava and mulberry. They sometimes also eat insects and snails.

The purple-crested turaco breeds in August -February. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a shallow cup made of twigs and sticks, placed in matted creepers, dense mistletoe or isolated thorn trees, up to 4 m above the ground. The female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 21-25 days. The chicks fledge 3-5 weeks after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is reported to be localised but quite common in most parts of its southern African range. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of hunting in Tanzania, but they seem to be able to adapt to human interference better than other turacos, as they started to move into suburban gardens and alien vegetation.

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