Violet turaco

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Violet turaco
Violet Turaco RWD3.jpg
At Jacksonville Zoo, Florida
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Musophagiformes
Family: Musophagidae
Genus: Tauraco
T. violaceus
Binomial name
Tauraco violaceus
(Isert, 1788)

The violet turaco, also known as the violaceous plantain eater (Tauraco violaceus), is a large turaco, a group of African otidimorphae.


These are unmistakable birds, but shy and often inconspicuous in the treetops. They are approximately 48 cm (19 in) long, including a long tail and a 4 cm (1.6 in) bill. They boast a winglength of 21 cm (8.3 in)[2] and weigh approximately 360 g. The plumage is glossy violet, except for the yellow forehead, chestnut crown and white ear coverts; the bill is thick and red. In flight, the violet turaco's crimson primary flight feathers contrast with the violet plumage. The red colour in the wings is typical of turacos.


It is resident in West Africa, and has an extremely large range from Senegal through to the Nigeria, with an isolated population in Chad and Central African Republic. It occurs in tropical savannas, wetlands, woodlands and forests.


Diet consists of fruit, and they are quite partial to figs, but they will also eat leaves, buds, flowers, insects, snails and slugs.


Cooperative breeding behavior has been observed in captivity in this species. The female lays two eggs in a flimsy tree platform nest.


This species is locally common, but is vulnerable to trapping for the pet trade in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana.


Turacos are social birds, travelling in flocks of around ten to twelve individuals. They are not strong fliers but they can run quickly through the branches.[3] Violet turaco has a loud cooroo-cooroo call.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Musophaga violacea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Šťastný, Karel; Bejček, Vladimír; Vašák, Pavel (1998). "Turakovití (Musophagidae)". Svět zvířat V. Ptáci (2) (in Czech). Praha: Albatros, nakladatelství pro děti a mládež, a. s. p. 76. ISBN 80-00-00657-X.
  3. ^ Bent, Nancy; Corbett, Francine (1993). "Helping behaviour and other observations on nesting in the violet turaco". Avicultural Magazine. 99 (3): 132–135. ISSN 0005-2256.

Birds of The Gambia by Barlow, Wacher and Disley, ISBN 1-873403-32-1
Violaceous plantain eater (Musophaga violacea)

External links[edit]