|Range of the Knysna Turaco: subspp. corythaix (south) and phoebus (north)|
The Knysna Turaco (Tauraco corythaix), or, in South Africa, Knysna Lourie, is a large turaco, one of a group of African near-passerine birds. It is a resident breeder in the mature evergreen forests of southern and eastern South Africa, and Swaziland. It was formerly sometimes considered to be a subspecies of the Green Turaco of West Africa. The Livingstone's and Schalow's Turacos were once considered subspecies.
This species lays two eggs in a shallow platform nest made from sticks and placed in a tree or clump of creepers.
Within its range, this is an unmistakable bird, although often inconspicuous in the treetops. It is 40–42 cm long, including a long tail. The small but thick orange-red bill and a white line just under the eye contrast with the mainly green plumage. It has a tall green crest, which is tipped with white. The eye is brown and the eye-ring deep red. In flight, Knysna Turaco shows conspicuous crimson primary flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but juvenile birds have a shorter crest without the white tips.
The Knysna Turaco is usually seen flying between forest trees, or hopping along branches. It feeds on fruit, insects and earthworms. It has a loud kow-kow-kow-kow call.
Eggs of Tauraco corythaix MHNT
- Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa (Struik 2002) ISBN 1-86872-721-1
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