Top 8 Interesting Red-Crested Turaco Facts

Our winged friends come in a large number of colors. The most beautiful birds in the world are some of the most colorful creatures on the planet.

The bird described in his article holds an important place in a specific country in Africa and can surely be described as a beautiful colorful animal.

In this article, we take a closer look at some of the most interesting facts about the red-crested turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus).

1. It’s a member of a banana-eating family of birds

The red-crested turaco (tauraco erythrolophus) is a bird in the family Musophagidae which are also known as the banana-eaters.

There are a couple of other types of birds in this family referred to as plantain-eaters and go-away-birds.

They are part of the clade called the Otidimorphae to which also the cuckoos and bustards belong. this type of Turaco is closely related to both of them.

The most distinctive characteristic of these birds is the crests on top of their heads. This is a feature that is present in all species of this family.

red-crested turaco facts
The bird on a branch / Dick Daniels / Wiki Commons

2. They are endemic to and are the national bird of an African country

The turacos are one of only a few families of birds that are endemic to Africa. They are endemic to the western part of Angola and a small portion of the central part of this country.

Angola is officially known as the Republic of Angola and is a country in the south-central region of the western part of Africa.

This Portuguese-speaking country borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Namib Desert to the south. Despite bordering such a dry area, it’s a densely forested country except for the southeastern part.

The red-crested turaco thrives in the forested areas of Angola and is the country’s national bird.

red-crested turaco habitat
A close view of the bird / Daniel Demczuk / Wiki Commons

3. It looks very similar to an endangered type of turaco

Although all turacos feature a crest on their heads, they come in a wide variety of colors. As the name suggests, this bird features a distinctive red crest.

There are a few turacos that look very similar to the one described in this article. This includes the Bannerman’s turaco, a bird named in honor of the ornithologist David Armitage Bannerman.

This bird is endemic to Cameroon and is unfortunately critically endangered due to habitat loss.

Another turaco that resembles our red-crested friend is the Fischer’s turaco, a bird named in honor of German explorer Gustav Fischer. This bird can be found in 3 countries in eastern Africa, Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania.

All these birds feature a red crest and green plumage and both sexes look exactly the same.

Fishers turaco
Fisher’s turaco / Mulhouseville / Wiki Commons

4. How big is the red-crested turaco?

It’s hard to judge their size but turacos are medium-sized birds that have an average length of between 40 and 75 centimeters (16 and 30 inches).

The only exception is the great blue turaco which has a length of between 70 and 76 centimeters (28 and 30 inches).

The red-crested turaco has a length of between 45 and 50 centimeters and a weight of between 210 and 325 grams.

While this far from being the largest bird on the planet, they are much bigger than they initially appear to be.

Red-crested turaco size
The Medium-sized bird / Oren Rozen / Wiki Commons

5. These birds can produce a remarkable sound

These birds live in the jungle and are known to be extremely noisy. They produce a deep barking sound that can be heard from far away.

The sound of the female birds tends to be a bit sharper than that of their male counterparts. The best way to describe it is that it sounds very similar to shouting monkeys.

They also tend to be extremely noisy at dawn. This makes it possible to get a full night’s sleep when these colorful creatures are around.

6. What do these birds eat?

All turacos are frugivorous birds that mainly feed on raw fruit. When food is scarce, they also eat leaves, buds, and flowers.

Figs are their preferred meal and these arboreal birds only tend to come down to eat and drink, a wise thing to do with copious amounts of predators around.

Flying isn’t the specialty of these birds but they have strong legs that allow them to easily climb trees, a remarkable characteristic of this bird.

Red-crested turaco fun facts
A close view of the bird’s head and crest / Wiki Commons

7. These are social birds that are monogamous

You will rarely find an individual bird roaming around alone in the native habitat of the red-crested turaco. That’s because these social birds usually travel in or in groups of up to a dozen or more birds.

They are monogamous which means they bond for life with their chosen partner. They also help each other by building a nest between 5 to 20 meters above the ground in the dense jungles of Angola.

The male and female take turns incubating the eggs. Thye both raise the young, a process that takes just 4 to 5 weeks before they leave the nest.

These forest birds have a lifespan of between 5 to 9 years which they mostly spent inside the woodland area.

8. These colorful creatures can be admired in zoos all around the world

Colorful birds are common attractions inside the most popular zoos all around the world; This means that you can admire red-crested turacos just about everywhere.

The best news, however, is that although their population is decreasing, they are marked as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Yes, these amazing creatures are far from being endangered!

red-crested turaco in a zoo
The bird in a zoo / Carl Lee Ball / Wiki Commons