Violet Plantain Eater Tropical bird - Nature Stock Image by Professional Wildlife Photographer Christina Craft
The violet plantain eaters tend to keep to themselves but when they fly, they display spectacular red flashes on the outer 1/3 of their wings. They are members of the Turaco Family and are about 17 inches long with unusually silky plumage. The main body and tail color is purple with red on top of their heads, red on lower edges of the wings (male only), and a white horizontal stripe under the yellow eye surround. They have no eyelashes. Their heavy bill is yellow with orange at the tip and has a horny plate extending from the upper mandible to the forehead.
In the wild, they can be found in West Africa from Gambia and Senegal east to Cameroon. They prefer open woodland, riverine forest and a humid forest edge. They are shy perching birds that prefer to stay out of sight in the dense canopy of tall trees where they run along the branches searching for fruits.
They often travel in flocks of 10 or 12 birds. Their nests are shallow and the clutch usually consists of 2 nearly spherical white eggs. Incubation takes 21-24 days with the nesting period of about 4 weeks and it takes the young almost a year to develop full coloration. The birds main call is a long series of deep, gargling cou-cou-vhou notes that run into each other, producing a pulsing roar when two birds call at the same time.