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Red-crested turaco

Tauraco erythrolophus

Red-crested turaco

Red-crested turacos are sometimes referred to as the ‘go away birds’ because their call sounds like ‘go away’.

They are a beautiful red and green colour, which comes from the copper pigments in their feathers. This pigment is called turacin and is unique to turacos.

When alarmed, these birds will lift their wings to show a flash of bright red underneath, which startles potential predators.


Diet - Omnivore
Red-crested turacos eat fruit, flowers, leaves, termites, seeds, snails and acacia.

The average red-crested turaco can be up to 43 centimetres long and can weigh up to 325 grams.

Red-crested turacos are found in forests in sub-Saharan Africa, in countries such as Angola.

Conservation status
The IUCN does not consider the red-crested turaco to be currently at risk of extinction.
The species is listed under Appendix II of CITES.

The biggest threats to the red-crested turaco are habitat destruction and trapping for the aviary trade.

Current population
Little is known about the exact population of red-crested turacos but they are still common in their native areas.

Zoo population
Red-crested turacos are managed under an ESB. There are around 210 birds living in zoos around the world.

Key to acronyms

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

ESB - European Studbook

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