110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Nature Scenes: White-crested turacos prefer not to fly
By Lynn Bowen
posted Jun 24, 2013 - 9:21:39am
The white-crested turaco is a gorgeous bird from Africa that lives in tropical rain forests and woodlands. However, one of them can be seen basking in a huge aviary at Brevard Zoo in Melbourne.
This 15-inch bird weighs between 5 and 8 ounces, but looks like he weighs more. The colorful turaco has vibrant shades of blue and green plumage on his body.
White feathers adorn the head and neck, except that, over his eyes, there is a little blue patch of feathers. Looking like too much makeup, bright red skin encircles the turaco's eyes. I have never seen this on any other bird. Women everywhere are probably envious of this natural attribute, as women love to accent their eyes!
As the bird's name states, he has a white crest over his forehead. He also has a lemon-yellow bill.
The most amazing part of this bird's unique look is the underside of both wings, which is crimson red! But when the turaco is just standing, one cannot see this.
Turacos have special toes on each foot. Two toes point forward, and two point backward, but one outside toe can be rotated, enabling these birds to be excellent tree-climbers. That's a good thing, since they are poor fliers. They prefer to hop through the trees or run on the ground to get to their destination — they're just reluctant to fly. It's amazing how nature gives creatures special traits.
White-crested turacos' diet is fruit, flowers, insects and snails. They live in flocks of about 30 and forage together.
Eighteen species of turacos exist, and they all look similar. Different-colored plumage is the main distinction. These spectacular birds live up to eight years and amaze people with their beauty.
— Bowen lives in DeLand. Send email to her at email@example.com.
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