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White-cheeked Turaco

White-cheeked Turaco
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-08 0:39
Viewed: 4900
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
In the same trees where I found the Double-toothed Barbet in Bahir Dar (photo 29-08-2008), I find this bird, deeply hidden in a fig tree. The quality is not superb, but I got only one chance to take a picture of this White-cheeked Turaco. And here it is. It was also the only time during this month in Ethiopia that I’ve seen this bird.

The White-cheeked Turaca, tauraco leucotis, is ENDEMIC TO ETHIOPIA.
Crescent-shaped white patch on side of the neck is diagnostic, but extent varies, and may be almost absent in some areas. Green-blue crest and white face markings separate it from Ruspoli’s Turaco.
Habitat: Woodland and forest up to 3200 m.
Size: 43 cm. from beak to tip of the tail.
Diet: fruit, some invertebrates.
Incubation: 21 – 24 days.
Status: common, but according the 2008 IUCN Red List Category the number of these birds is declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations. For these reason the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Voice: Flight call is ‘kek, kek, kek…’; male in breeding season has variable, cackling call. ‘KUK kuk kuk KUK kukukukukuk’.

Some other facts

1.Turaco’s are the only birds to possess true red and green pigmentation. When you look at most birds, the color you are seeing is a reflection produced by the feather structure. The turaco's red pigment (turacin) and green pigment (turacoverdin) both contain copper. In fact, if you stirred a glass of water with a red turaco feather, the water would turn pink!

2.On their head is a beautiful crest, which stands about 5 cm (2 in.) when they are excited.

3.They use their long tails for balance and their feet are very good at gripping. In fact, their fourth toe can rotate forward or backward in order to have a better grip on their perch.

4.These turacos live in flocks of up to 12 individuals. They are shy and prefer to perch out of sight.

5.They are monogamous in breeding. During courtship, the male turaco will feed the female. Together, they build their nest; mother and father take turns sitting on the eggs. Once the eggs have hatched, other flock members help the new mother care for the chicks. Chicks can fly at 4 weeks of age. They may leave the nest at 6 weeks of age (or decide to stay with the flock).

6.When faced with danger, they sit very still and fly away at the last minute with power flaps, revealing the crimson color under their wings.

(Sources from different internet pages and ‘Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara)

Argus, jrobertop, jaycee, nglen, boreocypriensis, Luis52, lousat, Silvio2006, Jamesp, uleko has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-08 2:09]

Hello Peter,
This shot must be praised for its uniqueness and though the quality is, as you say, not the best, you have managed to take this from a POV that shows the features of this splendid Ethiopian endemic Turaco.
Congratulations on achieving yet another new species for TN!
TFS and best wishes,

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-09-08 5:47]

Merhaba Peter,
Her ne kadar netlik sorunu olsa da bu çok güzel bir kuş karesi olmuş. Kompozisyon harika görünüyor. Yeni karelerinizde görüşmek umuduyla.


Hello Peter.
A wonderful bird, seconded by natural frame!
Excellent coloration and contrast.
Really a species well different.
My compliments!
I am impressed with the number of countries you visit!
José Roberto

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-08 10:34]

Hi Peter,

You were lucky to see this Turaco even once - and to get a fine shot of him. This must be a first on TN so congratulations. You managed good colors and details and a cute pose. I love the white cheek and the red patch around the eye. If not for this most of us would never have seen this exotic bird.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-08 11:36]

Hi Peter. As you say you only got the one chance and you got the picture. Lucky as you did not see it again. Once again a unusual looking bird.nice head markings. well done TFS.

Hi Peter, a wonderful capture of this beautiful Turaco endemic to Ethiopia. Splendid composition too.
TFS and Cheers,


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-09-08 18:07]

Hello Peter! Great subject, well shot and a very nice result! Thanks!


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-09-08 18:59]

Hola Peter. I guess this is the first time I have seen this beautiful bird. Such a nice colors and excellent note. Saludos, and I hope to see more great images from You.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-09-08 19:47]

Hi Peter,
Wonderful shot of this interesting looking bird and I like those white tufts on its face and the natural setting. Very neat and sharp image with superb light and exposure control. Excellent POV and composition. Thanks for sharing this fine image.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-09-10 1:36]

Hi Peter,this is a lucky tree..ehehe...another woder of nature,you manage the pic very well beacuse the backlight was terrible! Excellent result,very nice colors and perfect sharpness,my best compliments for this great spectacle,have a nice day,Luciano

Ciao Peter, fantastic bird with wonderful colors, good details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-09-11 23:01]

Hi Peter

A lovely shot anyway - I find with Turacos that I either seen lots or non. Well seen.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-12 12:20]

Hello Peter,
Another interesting species endemic to Ethiopia. It is a very beautiful bird even though it isn't quite clearly in focus here. You still show its markings and colours enough and I love the background of dates and palm leaves. A wonderful composition.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

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