Turaco family
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TURACO FAMILY. INTRODUCTION. The turacos make up the bird family Musophagidae (literally "banana-eaters"), whic known as louries .

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  • The turacos make up the bird family Musophagidae (literally "banana-eaters"), whicknown as louries.

  • They are h includes plantain-eaters and go-away-birds. In southern Africa both turacos and go-away-birds are commonly semi-zygodactylous – the fourth (outer) toe can be switched back and forth. The second and third toes, which always point forward, are conjoined in some species.

  • Musophagids often have prominent crests and long tails; the turacos are noted for peculiar and unique pigments giving them their bright green and red feathers.

Turaco family

  • They are group of medium or larger size, the spicies are remarkable for their brightly coloured plumage and long tails.

  • Many species possess rich crimson-red flight feathers and most have loud harsh calls


  • Kingdom-Animalia

  • Phylum-Chordata

  • Class-Aves

  • Order-Musophagiformes

  • Family-Musophagidae

Social organization


  • Musophagids are medium-sized arboreal birds endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, where they live in forests, woodland and savanna. Their flight is weak, but they run quickly through the tree canopy.


  • Social behaviour: They are territorial, and will generally stay in pairs throughout the year. This species has several vocalisations; the loud drawn out calls most often heard dawn and dusk and are generally territorial calls which will be responded to by neighbouring birds, and the quieter shorter vocals, possible used as contact calls and when showing excitement or aggression.

Turaco family

  • Sexual behaviour: Courtship behaviour usually begins with calling and chasing from tree to tree, followed by mutual feeding, gentle beak clapping and head bobbing. If receptive the female will lower her body allowing the male to tread her.

Feeding habit

  • They feed mostly on fruits and to a lesser extent on leaves, buds, and flowers, occasionally taking small insects, snails, and slugs. Contrary to what the names might suggest, they generally do not eat bananas or plantains and indeed wild-living musophagids do not seem to use Musa as food at all.


  • . Musophagids build large stick nests in trees, and lay 2 or 3 eggs.

Turaco family

  • Sexual maturity: Both sexes have reproduced from 1 year in captivity, but there are documented cases of both sexes producing young at 8 months of age in the wild

  • Eggs/laying/clutch size: Usually 2 white eggs, laid on a flimsy platform of twigs, 1.5 – 10 meters off the ground. Eggs laid every other day.

  • Incubation: Incubation by both sexes, after first egg laid. Incubation period is 24 days.

  • Hatching: Chicks hatch with a thick coat of black down, eyes generally on the point of opening.

Turaco family

  • Chick fed by parents regurgitating food into beak.

  • Development: Become very active from two to three weeks and will attempt to leave the nest before they can fly. Generally able to fly from four to five weeks, but will remain dependent on parents for several months after leaving the nest.