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Birds of Uganda – Great Blue Turaco

Given Uganda’s equatorial location & sheer abundance of water, the density of wildlife in this country can get your head spinning. There are (way) over 1000 bird species confirmed in the country alone. And what birds! Some of them look like actual runway models. We have already looked at some superb starlings, stunning sunbirds & fabulous flamingos, today we meet the Great Blue Turaco (or Corythaeola cristata).
Two blue birds in a tree

Image of Great Blue Turaco from Charles J. Sharp under CC 4.0

Birds of Fashion

The Great Blue is the most widely distributed of all turaco species & they are absolutely stylish! This is one species where the males & females are both fashionistas. With their bold blue plumage, bluish-black crest, yellow & red beak they are a truly spectacular bird to behold.

Blue bird on a perch

Image of Great Blue Turaco from SandyCole under CC 3.0

Family Ties

Like many turacos, the Great Blues spend most of their time in the trees where they are quite agile amongst the branches. This type is not a good flier & only does it for short distances. Fairly social birds, they are often found in pairs or small groups (up to seven individuals) which sometimes gather at large trees with other groups. Both partners build their nest, incubate & care for the chicks. After about six weeks youngsters are weaned, but watched over by their parents for up to three months.

Blue bird on a perch

Image of Great Blue Turaco from Michael Gwyther-Jones under CC 2.0

Great Blue Lifestyle

The Great Blue Turaco spends most of their time foraging for food, although they may take a siesta during the hottest part of the day. Their diet mainly consists of fruit, but they will also eat leaves, flowers, insects, buds & shoots. They prefer forested areas (or patches), mountainous forests or savanna areas in West & Central Africa.

Blue bird in a tree

Image of Great Blue Turaco from Bernard DUPONT under CC 2.0

More Birdwatching

We are excited to embark on this fun new series of posts & can’t wait to share more about the amazing bird species that make up the diverse wildlife of Uganda. Stay tuned for more to come & in the meantime, perhaps you should come visit Uganda & meet some of them for yourself!

Post Author: Kelsey

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