Knysna Turaco

Knysna Turaco

Knysna loerie

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Tauraco corythaix
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
30 yrs
WEIGHT
280-380 g
LENGTH
40-42 cm

The Knysna turaco, or, in South Africa, Knysna loerie, is a large African turaco. Within its range, this is an unmistakable bird, although often inconspicuous in the treetops. The small but thick orange-red bill and a white line just under the eye contrast with the mainly green plumage. It has a tall green crest, which is tipped with white. The eye is brown and the eye-ring deep red. In flight, Knysna turaco shows conspicuous crimson primary flight feathers. The male and the female are similar in appearance, but juvenile birds have a shorter crest without the white tips.

Di

Diurnal

He

Herbivore

Fr

Frugivore

Ar

Arboreal

Al

Altricial

Te

Terrestrial

Ov

Oviparous

Mo

Monogamy

So

Social

No

Not a migrant

K

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Biogeographical realms

Knysna turacos are found in southern and eastern South Africa, and Swaziland. They do not migrate and live in the mature evergreen tropical forests.

Knysna Turaco habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Knysna turacos are active during the day and usually seen flying between forest trees, or hopping along branches. They are social and move in pairs or small family groups. Knysna turacos are also very noisy birds; they have a loud 'kow-kow-kow-kow' call and use it to communicate with each other or to defend their territory.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Knysna turacos are herbivores (frugivores). They feed mainly on fruit and berries, and supplement their diet with seeds, leaves, insects and earthworms.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
varies with location
INCUBATION PERIOD
20-24 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
7 weeks
BABY NAME
chick
BABY CARRYING
2 eggs

Knysna turacos are monogamous and form pairs. The time of breeding usually varies with location. Despite being social pairs tend to nest solitarily. The female lays 2 eggs in a shallow platform nest made from sticks and placed in a tree or clump of creepers. The eggs are incubated by both parents within 20-24 days. The chicks hatch helpless and stay in the nest for about 22 days. They start to fly 28 days after hatching and become independent 3 weeks later.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats facing the Knysna turaco at present.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Knysna turaco total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The bird family to which the Knysna turaco belongs is known as Loeries in South Africa, but the international name is Turaco.
  • Turacos are the only birds to possess true red and green colors. When you look at most birds, the color you are seeing is a reflection produced by the feather structure. The turaco's red pigment (turacin) and green pigment (turacoverdin) both contain copper. In fact, if you stirred a glass of water with a red turaco feather, the water would turn pink!
  • The Knysna turaco is thought to use its red wing feathers to escape predators. Indeed, when it flies, the predators tend to focus on the most visible color and follow the red patch. As the turaco lends and folds its wings, the red feathers of the wings become invisible and the bird has a chance of escaping unseen.
  • Turaco chicks are born with thick down and open, or nearly-open, eyes. When they leave the nest the chicks have claws on the wings that help them climb on branches and through vegetation.
  • Turacos have a unique foot arrangement, where the fourth toe can be brought around to the back of the foot where it almost touches the first toe or brought around so that it is near the second and third. In spite of this flexibility, the toe is actually usually held at right angles to the axis of the foot.

References

1. Knysna Turaco on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knysna_turaco
2. Knysna Turaco on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22688335/130124892
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/623280

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