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Violet Turaco Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Musophaga violacea
  • Class

    Birds
  • Order

    Musophagiformes
  • Range

    Central Africa, from Senegal to the Central African Republic.
  • Status

    Violet turacos are considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  • Habitat

    They inhabit tropical forests, savannas and wetlands.
  • Niche

    They primarily eat fruits, berries and the buds of flowers. They will also eat the occasional insect.
  • Life History

    Violet turacos build flimsy nests from twigs and branches, with females laying two eggs on average. Both parents take turns incubating eggs and caring for chicks after hatching.
  • Special Adaptations

    • Violet turacos aren’t the best flyers, but they easily navigate their forest habitat by running along branches. They have semizyodactylous toes, which means the outer toe can move forward or backward depending on the situation (running along branches versus perching, for instance).
    • Turacos produce their vivid colors with the bright-red pigment turacin. They’re unique in their ability to store this pigment, which is obtained through their diet.

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

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