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Birds of Uganda – Purple-Crested 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 Purple-Crested Turaco (or Tauraco porphyreolophus).
Colorful bird in a tree

Image of Purple-Crested Turaco from Bernard DUPONT under CC 2.0

Birds of Fashion

Lets face it, the purple part of their name doesn’t truly do this bird justice, as purple is just one of their beautiful plumage colors! This very plumage has traditionally been used for decoration, which made them popular with hunters across their habitat. 🙁

On a brighter note, both sexes of this bird have all kinds of style. Maybe it’s that almost iridescent blue-green-purple head or their soft blue-grey legs or oh my those crimson wings! We can’t decide which part of this bird is the prettiest! However, we think they are the prettiest alive – with their feathers firmly attached, thank you very much.

Colorful bird flying

Image of Purple-Crested Turaco from Lip Kee under CC 2.0

Family Ties

Like many turacos, the Purple-Crested 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, most live in pairs year round & can also be found in small groups (of 4-5). Breeding season is the only time they become less socially active, pair off & become strongly territorial. Both partners incubate & care for the chicks. After about three weeks youngsters are weaned & move out of the nest to the nesting-tree.

Colorful bird in a tree

Image of Purple-Crested Turaco from Bernard DUPONT under CC 2.0

Purple-Crested Lifestyle

The Purple-crested is frugivorous, feeding on fruits from various plant species in the canopy. Most of their life is spent amongst tree branches as they generally only come to the ground to drink & bathe. This bird enjoys a variety of habitats near water including woodlands, riparian areas & coastal forest.

Colorful bird in a tree

Image of Purple-Crested 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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