Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Great blue turaco

Corythaeola cristata



Taxonomy:
Order Cuculiformes
Family Musophagidae

Range:
This African species is found throughout equatorial Africa, from Guinea and Sierra Leone, to the Central African Republic, D.R. Congo, Uganda and Kenya, and south to Rwanda and Burundi.

Size:
The largest of the turacos, these birds are 70-76 cm long and weigh 800-1.200 g.

Habitat:
The great blue turaco is found in the canopies of lowland, intermediate and mountain rainforests.

Diet:
They mostly eat fruits by plucking them from trees and scrubs. They also eat leaves, buds and flowers, and even algae.

Breeding:
Great blue turacos nest on a platform made of dry sticks, built by both sexes. There the female lays 2 blue-green eggs which are incubated by both parents for 29-31 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 5-6 weeks after hatching, but continue to be cared for by their parents for another 3 months.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is reported to be the most widespread of all turacos, and seems not uncommon in most of its range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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