Family Turacos (Musophagidae)

Least Concern

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea)


French: Touraco violet German: Schildturako Spanish: Turaco violáceo
Other common names: Violet Plantain-eater

Musophaga violacea


, 1788,

Accra, Ghana


Closely related to M. rossae; the two may be sympatric in N Central African Republic and C Cameroon (near Galim). Birds from E end of range formerly separated as race savannicola. Monotypic.


S Senegambia and Guinea E to N Nigeria and NW Cameroon, extending S to the coast in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo (but not in Sierra Leone, Liberia or Nigeria); also an apparently isolated population in extreme S Chad and N Central African Republic.

Descriptive notes

c. 50 cm; c. 360 g. Adult has crown and nape crimson, the feathers short and velvety; ear-coverts silky white; chin, throat and neck glossy violaceous blue-black; upper­... read more


Main call a series of rather dove-like mellow rolling notes, often given simultaneously by several... read more


Typically in gallery forest, forest edge and fringing forests along watercourses in mesic or arid... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily fruits, berries and seeds, with figs (Ficus) favoured at all times.


Breeds in Apr in Senegambia, Jun–Oct in Nigeria. Nest a fragile pigeon-type platform of sticks and twigs, some 6 m above ground in a... read more


Very little precise information available. Species is probably sedentary, or at least mainly so;... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common in several areas, and possibly even very common in some places, but no detailed data on numbers. Populations in Guinea, Sierra Leone,... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, D.A. & Boesman, P. (2019). Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea). 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 20 July 2019).