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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Knysna Turaco

Afrikaans name: Knysnaloerie

A beautiful Knysna Turaco in the aviary at New Germany Nature Reserve

Knysna Turaco

Photo © Steven Herbert

Tauraco corythaix

Knysna Turaco behaviour

This is one very beautiful bird but unfortunately, they are not always easy to see. They spend a lot of time in the foliage of trees or bushes where their green colouration blends in with the foliage. They can, however, often be seen flying between trees when their stunning red wings are visible. For many years this species was known as the Knysna Lourie.

Knysna Turaco appearance

These turacos are around 40 cm in length. They have a small reddish bill and predominantly green plumage. There are white markings on the face and crest. In flight the most obvious colour is the bright red in their wings: this is thought to be a way of confusing predators which tend to focus on the red which promptly disappears when they land. A Knysna Turaco in flight

Knysna Turaco

Photo © Steven Herbert

Knysna Turaco diet

These birds love fruit and the list of trees that they feed off is way too long to list here. They do vary their diet slightly with seeds and insects.

Knysna Turaco breeding

They have quite an extended breeding which runs from May to February. Both sexes assist in building the nest which consists mainly of twigs. It is placed fairly high in a tree and is hidden amongst the foliage. 1 or 2 eggs are laid and are cared for by both sexes. The chicks take around 4 weeks before they are ready to start attempting to fly.

Knysna Turaco distribution and habitat

The Knysna Turaco is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland, with the biggest populations in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. They favour densely wooded areas, such as riverine forests, where they clamber around in the treetops.


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 111

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 39

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 322

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 318

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 232

The Doves, Parrots, Louries & Cuckoos of Southern Africa - Author: M.K. Rowan - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 207

List of South African Birds

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