Family Turacos (Musophagidae)

Least Concern

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)


French: Touraco géant German: Riesenturako Spanish: Turaco gigante

Musophaga cristata


, 1816,

Sierra Leone


E African birds formerly separated in race yalensis. Monotypic.


Equatorial Africa from Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast E to Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (including Bioko), Gabon, N Angola, Congo, DRCongo, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, NW Tanzania and W Kenya.

Descriptive notes

70–75 cm; male 857–949 g, female 822–1231 g. Readily identified by large size and predominantly grey-blue or greenish blue and yellow plumage; crest blue-... read more


Main call a deep gobbling resonant trill, comprising drawling “rou-ou” notes, abruptly followed by... read more


Lowland, intermediate and montane rain forest, as well as heavy gallery forest; where not molested... read more

Food and feeding

Largely frugivorous, but buds, shoots, leaves and flowers also taken, and overall dietary diversity higher than in Gallirex johnstoni... read more


May in Nigeria; Feb, May–Jul and Sept–Dec in Cameroon; Mar, Aug–Sept and Dec in Gabon; Mar–Apr and Sept in Zaire (... read more


Groups of 6–7 birds, occasionally more, maintain territories throughout year; solitary... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Most widespread of all turacos, and seems not uncommon in most of range. Locally common in W & S Uganda. Although adaptable to some extent, and... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata). 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 18 July 2019).