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Ian Fulton | profile | all galleries >> African Galleries >> Ethiopia >> Ethiopia - Birds, Individual Species Galleries >> Prince Ruspoli's Turaco tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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Prince Ruspoli's Turaco

The Prince Ruspoli's Turaco was one of the star birds of the trip. This stunning and colourfull bird is endemic to a very small area of southern Ethiopia in the vicinity of Negele Borena where it can be found in tall fruiting trees near a stream or river. It is considered to be vulnerable and globally threatened. A difficult photographic subject - digiscoped high up in a tree with strong backlight.

This Turaco was first discovered when Prince Ruspoli collected it in either 1892 or 1893. Sadly Prince Ruspoli, an Italian explorer, was killed in an "encounter with an elephant" in the Lake Abaya area and did not leave any notes about his travels so the locality and date of collection of the first specimen of this turaco remained unknown.

His Collection was studied by T. Salvadori in 1896 who named the new turaco in honor of Prince Ruspoli. In subsequent years several other explorers searched for the turaco; none were successful until the early 1940's when several specimens were obtained in the Arero forest. After these specimens were obtained the turaco was not reported again until more recently when several were found at localities north of Negele. These localities are now well known and most birding tours will be successful in finding this amazing bird.
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, near Negele Borena