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Turacos and Plantain Eaters: Musophagiformes

Physical Characteristics, Musophagiformes And People, Great Blue Turaco (corythaeola Cristata): Species Accounts, Gray Go-away-bird (corythaixoides Concolor): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIE

GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
GRAY GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides concolor): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Turacos and plantain eaters are unique to Africa. They live in sub-Saharan Africa, the part of the continent below the Sahara Desert. The birds are found in the countries of Angola, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Sudan, Kenya, Gabon, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, and Burundi.


Members of the Musophagidae family are arboreal, meaning they live in trees. Their habitat ranges from tropical forests thick with trees to grasslands, where there are few trees.

Although "musophaga" means banana and plantain eater, These birds hardly ever eat bananas or the tropical bananas called plantains. Instead, the birds eat the fruits of trees including the parasol and waterberry. The birds eat fruit that grows wild as well as fruit grown by people. Some species also eat flowers, leaves, caterpillars, moths, snails, slugs, termites, and beetles.


Birds live in pairs or in small family groups. Most species are thought to be monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus), mating for life. The birds build a flat nest of twigs, and both parents incubate (sit on) eggs. The female usually lays two eggs. Hens in the grassland have a clutch of two or three eggs. They hatch in twenty-two to thirty-one days, depending on the species.

Predators that hunt turacos and plantain eaters include eagles and chimpanzees.


Three turaco species are threatened, according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN). One Cameroon species, Bannerman's turaco, is Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction. Environmental groups are working with local people to save the birds threatened by loss of habitat.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds