Knysna Turaco

©Roger de la Harpe
Knysna Lourie

Name

Knysna Turaco or commonly known in South Africa as a Knysna Lourie or in Afrikaans as the Knysna loerie.

Tauraco corythaix

Appearance

A large near passerine bird. The most conspicuous feature is the red primary feathers, which are only visible in flight. This lourie is mainly green in colour, with a short, sharply curved orange beak. The eye is brown with a red eye ring. Both sexes have a tall white-tipped crest.

Turacos are one of only 2 species of birds to possess true red and green colours. The turacos red (turacin) and green (turacoverdin) colours contain copper. The colours you see in most bird species is a reflection produced by the feathers.

Turacoes are normally seen hopping along branches or in short flight between trees.

Knysna Turaco Diet

While its diet is mainly berries and fruit, turacoes will supplement their diet with seeds, leaves and insects.

Knysna Turaco Breeding Behaviour

Both sexes build an insubstantial nest out of twigs in a deep thicket. Two eggs are laid and incubated for around 21 days. The chicks start flying at around 28 days and are dependent on the adult birds for 3 to 4 weeks.

It takes around 1 full year for the Knysna lourie juveniles to develop their adult plumage.

Distribution and Habitat

Knysna louries are found in the evergreen coastal forests extending from the Western Cape through to Mpumalanga, including eSwatini, up to an altitude of 1800 m.