our animals

White Cheeked Turaco

Menelikornis leucotis

The white-cheeked turaco is green with deep greenish-blue tail and wings. The ventral surfaces of their wings are crimson. They have a white patch in front of their eyes and on the side of their neck. These birds have a red beak and eye ring and a blue-green crest. Turacos are the only birds to possess true red and green pigmentation. When you look at most birds, the colour you are seeing is a reflection produced by the feather structure. Their red pigment (turacin) and green pigment (turacoverdin) both contain copper.

This species tends to form monogamous breeding pairs. During courtship, the male will feed the female. They build their nest together and the parents 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.

Turacos have a beautiful crest on their head which stands about 5 cm (2 in.) tall when they are excited. 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.

fun facts

Conservation Status:

Least concern


Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan


Tall forest, riverside forest, evergreen forest, and wooded valleys


Fruit, some invertebrates





Incubation period:

21-24 days

Life Span:

10-12 yrs