Family Turacos (Musophagidae)

Least Concern

Black-billed Turaco (Tauraco schuettii)


French: Touraco à bec noir German: Schwarzschnabelturako Spanish: Turaco piquinegro

Corythaix Schüttii


, 1879,

Tala Magongo, Angola


Phylogenetic study suggests that this species may be part of a clade that contains also T. schalowi, T. hartlaubi, T. livingstonii, T. fischeri, T. corythaix and T. persa#R. Two further localized forms (sharpei and finschi) described, but doubtfully valid owing to much intergradation with emini and nominate schuettii. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. s. schuettii (Cabanis, 1879) – S Central African Republic#R, DRCongo E to Ituri Basin, S to Angolan border.
  • T. s. emini Reichenow, 1893 – South Sudan, E DRCongo, Uganda and W Kenya to NW Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 40 cm; male 215–267 g, female 199–272 g. Adult very similar to T. persa, but with a small and almost all-black bill, and a more evenly rounded crest... read more


    Main call is a series of 10–22 raucous cawing notes, initially starting faint, then becoming faster... read more


    Canopy of lowland, intermediate and montane evergreen forest, from 500 m to 2800 m.

    Food and feeding

    Strictly frugivorous: particularly favours fruits of Alangium, Ekebergia, Ficus, Ilex, Maesa... read more


    Breeds Mar, May, Aug–Sept and Dec in Zaire; Feb and May in Uganda. Nest a frail platform of twigs some 3–5 m above ground in... read more


    Largely sedentary throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Plentiful throughout much of its range, particularly in Zaire, where its resonant “khaw, khaw, khaw...” call is one of the most... read more

    Recommended citation

    Turner, D.A. & Boesman, P. (2019). Black-billed Turaco (Tauraco schuettii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 July 2019).