- Scientific name: Musophagidae
English common name: Turacos and allies
Nederlandse triviale naam: Toerako's, Loeries of Bananeneters
On my trip through Uganda I've only encountered one Turaco. Just one. But it happened to be one of the most beautiful Turacos: the Great Blue Turaco. In the morning we went to Kibale National Park in Uganda for watching the chimpanzees, in the afternoon to the neighbouring Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. A great place for birding and seeing lots of wildlife, especially monkeys. And between the trees and the vast fields of papyrus there was this Great Blue Turaco in a tree.
The Great Blue Turaco is a beautiful and colourful bird. Admired for its feathers by generations of Africans and African royalty. This Turaco is also the largest Turaco out there. And the largest bird withing the order of Cuculiformes. But there is the catch. The Turacos are - according to some scientists - no longer within the order of Cuculiformes.
The Musophagiformes is a new order that comprises only 1 family: Musophagidae - Turacos and allies. This Turaco family used to be in the order of Cuculiformes - Turacos, Cuckoos, Coucals and Hoatzins. According to the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy the Turaco family (Musophagidae) do not belong with the Cuculiformes. Instead, they are too distinct and should be granted their own order: Musophagiformes. Encyclopedia Of Life uses several schemes of taxonomic ordering (there are several systems out there and not every organisation has concensus with all the other organisations) and most of them - especially the recently reviewed ones - now go for placing turaco's and allies in their own order. Yet, the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species chooses to keep them within Cuculiformes.
I chose to position Musophagidae within their own order: Musophagiformes. Just for the reference, I keep the family of Musophagidae as well within the Cuculiformes. With a dashed line and it will link to the section for that family under this page.
And for the record: the blue bird in my 'jungle bar' at the top of this website is inspired by the Great Blue Turaco. Especially its colours. So you know. The monkeys are just generic monkeys that on purpose look like no actual species.
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Follow the link to see all of Schaapmans' 4 photos of
Turacos and allies on Flickr.
Please note that there are still 1000s of photos that Schaapmans took that are not yet properly tagged or uploaded, so expect more photos in the future.