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Messages (most recent first)


On 10th November 2004 at 22.36 Lesley Shield from West of Scotland entered the following problem:

Hello, we have recently handreared a second White-cheeked Turaco on the understanding it was for a local wildlife park. When he/she (sex unknown) was around 3/4 months, just as his beak started to turn red, we tried to introduce him to a fairly large aviary housing one 3 year old White-cheeked Turaco. We started by keeping him in a separate cage in full view of the other bird and gradually moved him closer to the main enclosure but after finally releasing him into the aviary the older bird has continued to attack him. We have gone back to the separate cage and tried again but this is still proving difficult. I would be grateful of any advice or suggestions regarding introduction of young birds to older more established birds.

Suggestion: It will depend on whether you have any other aviaries available. If so then you could move the older bird out for a month or so while the younger bird gets used to the aviary. Then move the older bird back into the flight.
Do you know the sex of either bird? You may find you have got two males.
If you don't have any spare flights, then you could put in a temporary partition to add the younger bird into a section of the flight, until it is used to it.
Some people advocate clipping one wing a little on aggressive birds to slow them down, but that may not be a good idea with winter approaching.
Try adding extra cover within the flight, with a food bowl in the cover too, so the bird being chased can feed where it is hiding.


On 21st September 2004 at 19.51 Herman W. Milke from Germany entered the following question:

Hello, I am contacting you looking for some advice. During very necessary restoration work at the tropical greenhouse nearby a turaco hartlaubi took his (or her) chance to escape. Now its hanging around at my garden, probably enjoying some of the berries and fruit there. I am offering it a similar mixed diet like it received in captivity before and it has helped itself several times. Its favourite perch seems to be the fairly dense hazelnut bush.
Any ideas what I can do to catch it to be returned to the greenhouse?
Much obliged.

I have only once had a turaco out around my garden - a White-cheeked. It was while I had a mass of ripe plums on my fruit trees, but the turaco ignored them and came eagerly for a bowl of its usual diet which I placed in a Larsen (Magpie) trap. The bird was caught at its first visit. If you are unfamiliar with a Larsen, it has doors in the top of a wire cage which hinge down and are held open by a stick across. The stick is actually in two pieces, broken in the middle. When a bird lands on the stick it falls apart and the door springs up, trapping the occupant. (See attached) I placed the Larsen trap up on a frame in the tree that the turaco had been perching in.
Alternatively, if you have an empty flight you could leave the door open with food just inside. By placing the food a little further in each time, the bird could be encouraged to enter far enough in. String on the door would allow you to close it from a distance.
Hope you manage to catch her/him. David Jones.

Larsen trap


On 20th May 2004 at 14:34 Sylvie Couneson entered the following comment and question:

Hello from Belgium!

Congratulations for your nice web site.
Here are two pictures of Western Grey Plantain-Easter, Crinifer piscator I have see in a zoo in Belgium.

Question: Can you explain how to take good care of this type of bird. What size of aviary is necessary?

Thank you.

Dr. Couneson

Western Grey Plantain-eater
Western Grey Plantain-eater

Answer (provided by Nigel Hewston):

Hello Sylvie,

Thanks for the photos and your comments on the website. Plantain-eaters eat fruit with a little universal or pellets as do other touracos, but also need more leafy food like spinach, lettuce, cabbage or wild plants. I have not kept them myself but aviary size would be as for other touracos, about 2 x 5m, or more if available. There have been two articles on Plantain-eaters in our magazines:

  • Issue 9 - Eastern & Western Grey Plantain-eaters by Don Turner, which talks about the species in the wild and their evolution.
  • Issue 12 - Western's Go Green by Nathan Crockford, which talks about captive breeding of the Western species at the Cotswold Wildlife Park.

Members can see more about Western Greys on the 'News' page of this website.


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