Louries – or if you Prefer, Turacos
Meet the Louries… Well, Mr and Mrs that is.
Louries, well, that’s what they were known as to us. Paradise Louries actually, also known as Spanish dancers because of the scarlet “skirts” on their wings.
It’s taken me weeks to capture these birds, discarding dozens of images in the process.
Problem is, they hear one click of the shutter and disappear faster than a debutante with a wardrobe malfunction. Leaving me, the long-suffering photographer, with a lot of photos of open air!
I think they’ve become used to the crazy woman hopping around in the first rays of sunshine, click, click, clicking away at them.
This one was posing, I’m sure. Teasing me perhaps?
Now known as the Purple-crested Turaco, it is a species of bird found in Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
I think the new name is rubbish – dry and dreary. How can such a sassy, beautiful creature have such a dull name? Paradise Lourie suits the colorful, flashy reality much better.
The description in Wikipedia say; “A purple colored crest above a green head, a red ring around their eyes, and a black bill. The neck and chest are green and brown. The rest of the body is purple, with red flight feathers.” An accurate description but oh, so, boring…
People who lived with and grew up knowing them as Paradise Louries will not refer to them as Turacos. That I know from some very established bush men and woman. Nor will I.
A remarkable thing is, without the sunlight revealing the colors the bird is a plain dull dark browny grey color. In the shade it’s colors don’t show up at all.
This isn’t a damp woodland or even a forest but the enormous Ficus at the bottom of the stairs, full of fruit.
Behold the magnificence, revealed by the morning sun. They’re big birds, about 18 inches long, (45.72 cms).
The Paradise Louries common habitat is in damp woodlands and evergreen forests, feeding mostly on fruit.