Turacos

Turacos

  Turacos are an odd bird in their general appearance. They are not a parrot, so their bill is not hooked. They have a small head and a long body that ends in a long luxurious tail. There are 18 different species of Turaco, all with different variations in coloring and head-crest. They are all found in Africa, namely the central and southern area. This bird is not one that you will find in just any old pet store. They are found in some zoos and are kept as pets by few individuals. Depending on the species, the main colors may be green or blue. There are several accent colors, including red, that adorn these birds. The Guinea Turaco, for example, has an astounding olive green color. It is so silky and vibrant at the same time. They green covers most of the body from the top down and melts into a purple color on the tail. Red primary feathers on the wings are only seen in flight. White lines accentuate the eyes. One very interesting thing about the coloring of this bird is the pigment of the feathers. They are actual pigments that produce the color that is seen. In other birds, the green you see in green feathers is a result of the light reflecting off the feather. The green pigment is called turocoverdine and the red pigment is called turacin. Mixing water with a green of red feather from a Turaco will yield pigmented water. This does not happen with ordinary feathers from other types of birds. Though this bird is highly decorated, they are also frustratingly hard to spot. They love to congregate high in forest treetops and the eye seems to pass right over them. Lifespan: In the wild, little is known about their lifespan, but in captivity they are known to live to 30 years or more. Diet: They feast on fruits and flowers. They also occasionally eat insects. Little is known about dieases that are prevalent among these birds but it can be assumed that the most common things for most birds, such as psittacosis and bacterial or fungal infections, are also common among Turacos.

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