Grey Go-away-bird

Corythaixoides concolor

Named for its distinctive call, often giving advance warning of approaching danger, the Grey Go-away-bird, or Grey Lourie, is a large (50cm long, weighing up to 300g) and easily recognisable bird occurring in groups numbering from 2 or 3 to as many as 30.

The Grey Go-away-bird inhabits open woodlands and savanna, rich in fruiting trees and with easily accessible water sources, and has of late become increasingly numerous in towns and cities across its range. They feed primarily on fruits and berries, but also consume flowers, nectar, buds, leaves, snails and insects.

Grey Go-away-birds breed throughout the year, with a peak in the spring and summer months. The nests are flimsy constructions of sticks and twigs, and clutches usually consist of two or three eggs (range 1-4). Parental duties of incubation, which takes about 4 weeks, and chick rearing are shared equally between the male and female. The chicks are fed on regurgitated food and can fly when they’re about 35 days old, although they already leave the nest at about three weeks old.

With a stable population distributed over the DRC, Angola, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa, the Grey Go-away-bird is considered of least concern by the IUCN. In South Africa, Grey Go-away-birds can be commonly found in the provinces of Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, with a small number in extreme northern Kwazulu-Natal. The population in the Kruger National Park alone is estimated at about 65,000 birds.


28 thoughts on “Grey Go-away-bird

      1. kim blades, writer

        I know. As a child we had them in the bush areas of the Bluff in Durban, where I grew up and they would sometimes come into the gardens. But I haven’t seen them on the Bluff for thirty years or anywhere else in KZN. Maybe other birds such as the Indian Mynah have forced them out of their KZN habitat.


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