Birds of The Gambia: The Western Grey Plantain-Eater

Updated on Sep 23, 2019 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Birds of The Gambia: The Western Grey Plantain-Eater

A profile on the Western Grey Plantain-Eater, one of many fascinating birds in The Gambia.

Gambia Bird Guide Plantain eater

© James Fisher


The Western Grey Plantain-Eater

Status: Common


The Western Grey Plantain-Eater (Crinifer piscator) is a large turaco (approximately 50cm in length). Like all turacos, it has a crested head and long tail.It is mainly grey, with a yellow beak and a white lower breast streaked with black.


Its call, as described in ‘Birds of The Gambia and Senegal‘, is a “series of loud, high-pitched kow-kow-kow-... ending in chatter; cackling kak-kak-kak-kalak-kalak.”

Where & When

It can be seen at any time of year throughout The Gambia. Easy to spot around Bakotu Lodge and golf course, as well as cultivated land between Abuko Nature Reserve and Tanbi Wetland Complex.


Often seen in pairs and small, noisy groups. Very distinctive flight that exposes its white wing patches. Eats fruit.

Thank you to James Fisher for this another great contribution. You can see more of his superb bird photography from his trip to The Gambia with us on his site, where you’ll also find many really beautiful images of the birds he has seen in the UK. You can also follow James on Twitter @j2fisher.

Have you seen an Western Grey Plantain-Eaterin The Gambia? If yes, we’d love to hear from you and see any photos or even videos that you might have. For information on our birding holidays in The Gambia, please visit our website.


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