Violaceous turacos have violet coloured plumage with an orange beak that leads to a yellow shield, on the forehead, with crimson crest feathers. Their primary feathers are also crimson, which contrast beautifully with the violet plumage in flight.
They are poor fliers but are very agile on their feet, when running through the trees by using their tail for balance. As juveniles they have claws on their wings which assist with movement in the tree canopy. The outside claw on their feet is reversible, allowing them to get to the end of branches to pick up fruit.
Violaceous turaco are very social birds that will travel in flocks of up to 12 individuals.