The Great Blue Turaco: a powerful bird in the African Etno-Ornithology
The Great Blue Turaco, Corythaeola cristata (Cuculiformes - Musophagidae), is a large bird, in fact is the largest member of the Musophagidae family, reaching 70-75 cm in length. They have a pleasant expression, and are also beautiful, combining in their plumage colors such as turquoise-blue, yellow, greenish-yellow, chestnut, and grayish, They have a conspicuous blue-black raised crest on forecrown and crown, and a large convex bill bright yellow with red tip.
Found in equatorial W Africa, from Guinea to Nigeria, and from the Congo Basin to Kenya and Tanzania, the Great Blue Turaco is one of those bird species that have or have had a traditional use in Africa, and have been studied in the field of Ethno-Ornithology.
In the Congo, the Mbuti hunter-gatherers believe that the Great Blue Turacos are dangerously powerful birds, mediators between the spirit world and human society. It is believed that the Great Blue Turaco may cause deaf to the newborn, if its parents eat the bird during the pregnancy. And also said to be closely associated with okapis (a giraffid artiodactyl mammal native to the Ituri Rainforest), informing the okapis of danger by crying loudly on the treetop over the okapis.
Photo credit: ©Bara Chouinard | Locality: captive - US, Florida (2011)