Breeding of Touracos in England

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    TOURACOS, of the species first to be made known to science (Turacus persa), were bred in England last year by Capt. H. S. Stokes, who gives an account of his success in the Avicultural Magazine for January (p. 3). The birds, which had made more than one unsuccessful attempt to breed before, hatched a young one in mid-July, which they brooded in turns, the cock taking the day shift, as with pigeons. As with these birds, too, the young was fed by regurgitation, and remained on the nest for some time; but here the resemblance ceased, for it was downy and left the nest and fed itself before it was fledged, with wingfeathers, however, developed, but showing white instead of the characteristic red on the primaries of this bird and its near allies in the touraco family. It was not until the bird was nearly full-grown that this red appeared by a gradual change in the colour of the feathers; this would seem to indicate that the characteristic copper-containing pigment, turacin, cannot be secreted by the young touraco until the demands of bodily growth have been practically met; and apropos of this red colour, it may be mentioned that in old stuffed specimens of touracos long exposed to light it becomes purple. The only species of the family bred here previously is T. macrqrhynchus, a much less familiar bird; but it often happens in aviculture that the rarer species breed best.

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    Breeding of Touracos in England. Nature 129, 163 (1932) doi:10.1038/129163a0

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