Family Turacos (Musophagidae)

Least Concern

Livingstone's Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii)


French: Touraco de Livingstone German: Livingstoneturako Spanish: Turaco de Livingstone

Turacus livingstonii

G. R. Gray

, 1864,

southern Malawi


Phylogenetic study suggests that this species may be part of a clade that contains also T. schalowi, T. hartlaubi, T. schuettii, T. fischeri, T. corythaix and T. persa#R. Formerly treated as conspecific with T. schalowi and T. corythaix, but vocal differences and cytogenetic researches point to recognition as a full species. Race cabanisi sometimes included in reichenowi#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. l. reichenowi (G. A. Fischer, 1880) – Nguru and Uluguru Mts SE to Dabaga and Njombe Highlands, in Tanzania.
  • T. l. cabanisi (Reichenow, 1883) – coastal lowlands of Tanzania S of R Mligasi through Mozambique to NE South Africa (NE KwaZulu-Natal).
  • T. l. livingstonii G. R. Gray, 1864 – highlands E of the Rift in Malawi and adjacent N Mozambique, S to E Zimbabwe (Inyanga to Mt Selinda).
  • Small disjunct population in E Burundi and W Tanzania not racially assigned.

    Descriptive notes

    45–46 cm; male 280–380 g, female 262–350 g. Adult has long green crest, tipped white; upperparts vary racially, from green to blue; belly and undertail-... read more


    Main call is a series of 10–15 raucous cawing notes, initially faint with shorter less harsh notes... read more


    Coastal and montane evergreen forest, from sea-level to 2500 m.

    Food and feeding

    Primarily a fruit-eater. In Malawi diet overlaps greatly with that of T. schalowi, 80% of species consumed being common to both. read more


    Breeds Oct–Dec in Malawi, Dec–Jan and Jun in Mozambique, Sept–Feb in Zimbabwe. Nest a well-woven platform of sticks and... read more


    Largely sedentary throughout its range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Fairly common over much of its range, but continuing forest clearance will ultimately have adverse effect on all races. Some Tanzanian... read more

    Recommended citation

    Turner, D.A. & Boesman, P. (2020). Livingstone's Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii). 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 9 April 2020).