Family Turacos (Musophagidae)

Least Concern

Western Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator)


French: Touraco gris German: Schwarzschwanz-Lärmvogel Spanish: Turaco gris occidental
Other common names: Western Grey Plantain-eater

Falco piscator


, 1783,



Formerly listed as C. africanus, on grounds that name piscator was based on illustration of a bird unidentifiable as present species. Believed closely related to C. zonurus, with which has been considered conspecific. Proposed race obscuratus (from E Cameroon) considered invalid. Monotypic.


S Mauritania, Senegambia, Sierra Leone and coastal Liberia E to Central African Republic (almost reaching South Sudan border); also disjunctly in Congo and DRCongo down R Congo S of Stanley Pool.

Descriptive notes

c. 50 cm (tail 24–25 cm). Adult has forehead, crown, lores, chin, throat and cheeks dark brown; shaggy nuchal crest of narrow, pointed hindcrown feathers up to 45 mm... read more


Rather vocal. Utters either cackling or stuttering series’ of notes. Cackling, often by several... read more


All types of open wooded savanna and cultivation, from the sahelian acacia steppe to near the edge... read more

Food and feeding

Wild and cultivated fruits, including figs, mangoes, guavas, sapotillas, oil-palm fruits and dates; also Cordia senegalensis, ... read more


Breeds Jan–Aug and Oct in Senegambia, Jan–Jun in Mali, Apr–May in Nigeria, Mar–May and Sept–Oct in Ghana, and... read more


Largely sedentary throughout its range.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally abundant in Senegambia, reaching a density of 1 bird/ha in some areas of Acacia scorpioides woodland. Appears reasonably common... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, D.A. & Boesman, P. (2020). Western Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator). 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 21 February 2020).