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White-crested turaco

Tauraco leucolophus

White-crested turaco

White-crested turacos are one of the most colourful African birds.

Their red and green colour is due to a special copper pigmentation which is unique to the turaco species.

Another distinctive feature is the bird’s toes. Each claw has a pair of toes that face forward and a pair that faces backwards, so each bird has eight toes in total. All turacos have a more flexible toe on the rear of each claw that can move to the side, making it easier for the birds to grip branches and climb trees.

Animal class


Diet - Omnivore
White-crested turacos have a diet of fruit, seeds, leaves, flowers and, occasionally, caterpillars, moths, beetles, snails and slugs.

The average white-crested turaco is approximately 38 centimetres long and weighs between 140 and 230 grams.

White-crested turacos are found in the forests and woodlands of central Africa, in countries such as Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda.

Conservation status
The IUCN has listed the white-crested turaco as being not in any danger of extinction.

White-crested turacos are threatened by humans who hunt them for meat or for their feather. Their vivid red flight feathers are often worn by African tribes.

Current population
This type of bird is very common in the wild. As a result exact numbers of white-crested turacos are unknown.

Zoo population
There are 50 of these birds living in zoos across the world.