Knysna Turaco

Tauraco corythaix

The Knysna Turaco, or Knysna Lourie, is a very colourful bird inhabiting the evergreen montane and riverine forests of southern and eastern South Africa (from the Garden Route through the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal to the escarpment of Mpumalanga and Limpopo), extending marginally into Swaziland. Knysna Louries feed mainly on fruit, with seeds and insects making up only a small proportion of its diet. The IUCN lists it as being of least concern although it may be locally impacted by uncontrolled deforestation.

Often heard long before it is seen (its loud kok-kok-kok call being a familiar sound in the forests it inhabits), these beautiful birds are commonly encountered in the Garden Route National Park, though getting decent photographs of them in their dense and dark habitat can prove tricky! Adult Knysna Turacos grow to a length of 46cm and weigh up to 350g.

Both parents are involved in building the nest, which is little more than a flimsy platform of sticks and twigs among dense foliage, and incubating the clutch of one or two eggs for just over 3 weeks. The chicks grow quickly, start practicing to fly before they are a month old, and stay with their parents until they’re about 3 months old. Their breeding season stretches almost throughout the year, but peaks from September to December.

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