Western-grey Plantain-eater

I wonder why this large bird from the Turaco family is called a plantain eater. One thing that’s always made me giggle about this bird is that I have never seen one eat plantain and I don’t really know if they do but I suppose they must.

They love fruit such as Mango, Papaya and also Cashew.

Close-up Western-grey Plantain-eater
Western grey Plantain eater
Western-grey Plantain-eater

Where is the Western-grey Plantain-eater found?

The Western-grey Plantain-eater is found at Footsteps all year round.

Outside of our lodge, it can be found all over The Gambia and West Africa.

What does it look like?

They are approximately 50 cm long, with a long tail. Their colouring is mainly grey with spots of brown. Its head, crest, neck and breast are brown and streaked with silver. Their underbellies are whitish and heavily streaked with brown.

The Western-grey Plantain-eater has a thick brightly coloured yellow bill and in-flight displays a white wing bar. Males and females look the same but their young have a black fluffy appearance without the silver streaks.

What does it feed on?

They feed mainly on fruit, seeds and vegetables and for example, are also especially fond of figs. They do eat bananas and while I can find no reference to them eating plantain specifically perhaps someone reading this can clarify this for me!

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

While there is not sufficient data to say how long these birds live in the wild, in captivity they can live past 30 years. Source Fatbirder

How does it sound?

While staying at Footsteps you will hear them all day because they are loud birds with a high-pitched kow, kow, kow followed by kak, kak, kak, kalak, kalak.

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