The great blue turaco is a bird that mostly hails from the East African tropical mountains and rainforests. The bird belongs to the grand Turaco family and indeed it’s the most popular of the species because of its unique appearance and marvelous lifestyle.
With a predominantly bright blue color, the blue turaco is a breathtaking beauty. Its distinctive features include; gray-blue upperparts, bluish black crest, its white chin and a yellow beak with a red tip. These turacos have short rounded wings and long wide tail with a black bar towards its end.
The great Blue Turaco spends the entire day in tree branches feeding mostly on fruits all day long only occasionally resting in the branches during the midday heat. They also feed on buds, insects and leaves.
The turacos live in families of about 6 to 10 members.
The great blue turaco cannot fly far and flying from one tree to another is evidently without its struggle as the bird visibly puts up a fit to get on. Its tree climbing skills however make up for whatever the birds lacks in flying. With strong legs, the bird gets about tree branches with swiftness and deftness that can put all other bird species to shame.
Their calls are vividly distinct as they make a loud continuous and deep kok-kok-kok sound followed by a gentle purr.
Reproduction and Breeding
The turacos breed during the rainy season especially in the month of October. During this season the males put up a show to attract the females. They are usually seen racing across trees and branches, constantly calling, and mutually feeding. They go ahead to put their majestic appearance on display, moving their crests upwards and downwards. They can also be seen wagging their tails to display their colorful rectrices.
The female turacos lay eggs that are almost circular with a pale blue color. Both the male and females carry out the incubation for a period of up to 31 days. The role of tending to the chicks is shared by both parents and occasionally an additional helper for 27-29 days. The little ones stay in their nests for about 6 weeks after hatching. They fully enjoy being fed and protected and it’s only after 3 months can they be let out to fend for themselves.