JULY '98 MYSTERY
The question was:
identify the species that produced these feathers by scientific and common names and give its range in the wild.
These were the hints:
1.This genus of this bird gets its name from the name of a pigment.
2.These are wing feathers.
3. This species likes fruit a lot!
And the answer is: (drumroll, please)
These feathers came from a Red-Crested Touraco (Tauraco erythrolophus) whose native range is the woodlands and savanna of Angola and Zaire in Africa. Touracos are in the family Musophagidae wich encompasses six genera of frugivorous African birds that are characterized by crests on the head and large wings. The genus name Tauraco is derived from the name of the pigment, turacin, which is the red pigment found in the wings of the Tauraco species. This is an interesting pigment in that it is water soluble. Notice that the feather on the left in the photograph shows a white, faded area towards the tip. This is a faded area where the feather was in contact with water for an extended time. If one of these feathers is placed in water for a day or two, it will fade and the water will turn pink.
Touracos should be mainly fed a variety of fresh fruit including grapes, papaya, apple, figs, melons, platano bananas, and berries. They are particularily fond of blueberries. Hand-raised birds can be very tame and confiding and will fly to the keeper, often landing on the keeper's shoulder or head. Touracos need a large flight, preferably an outdoor, planted aviary. Wings should never be clipped on touracos as they are very active birds and should always be able to fly.
The photograph below shows a Red-Crested Touraco raised at Aves International. We have been working with this species for over a decade and think they are delightful birds!
CONGRATULATIONS to all who won
1999 BABY BIRD CALENDARS
in our July Mystery Contest! Thanks also to everyone who participated in the contest.
Try your luck in our new Mystery Bird Eye Contest for August!
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