Conservation & environment

A Royal Feather

27 November 2013

Another beauty found here at Sand Rivers is the Purple-crested Turaco. A mere glance at the bird suggests is somewhat of an Avian Monarch. After a little bit of research it becomes pretty obvious that this bird is most definitely just that.

The most obvious thing to me would be the purple crest, purple historically being the colour of royalty and this crest representing its crown. This bird has attitude, acting like a King of the treetops.

Looking deeper into the bird, you will find a specific genus of the bird, Tauraco gallirex porphyreolophus, gallirex directly translating as King Cock Where this name came from is unknown, but has obviously stuck with it for some time as it is so accurately describing.

Natives of Africa have a similar opinion as many Royals and Chiefs of Africa in many different tribes have used the crimson flight feathers of Turaco's as status symbols of such position, most notably the Swazi and Zulu tribes, whose boundaries happen to lie within the domain of this magnificent bird.

This special bird can be seen all year round at Sand Rivers, often they are heard calling in the distance with an explosive kok-kok-kok, if you are lucky enough to see them bouncing around in the canopy and wait for it to display its beautiful crimson flight feathers in their short treetop flights.

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