Corythaixoides concolor (Grey go-away-bird, Grey Loerie)

Kwêvoël [Afrikaans]; umKlewu [Zulu]; Nkwe [Kwangali]; Mokowe [North Sotho]; Kuwe, Pfunye [Shona]; Umkluwe [Swazi]; Nkwenyana (generic term for lourie) [Tsonga]; Mokuê [Tswana]; Vale toerako [Dutch]; Touraco concolore [French]; Graulärmvogel [German]; Turaco-cinzento [Portuguese];

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Musophagiformes > Family: Musophagidae

Corythaixoides concolor (Grey go-away-bird, Grey Loerie)

Grey go-away-bird. [photo Jeff Poklen ©]

Grey go-away-bird, Botswana. [photo Gerhard Theron ©]

The Grey go-away-bird occurs from coastal Angola through to southern Africa, where it is common in dry savanna and suburban gardens. It eats mainly plant products, such as fruit, flowers, leaves and buds, but it may also eat small invertebrates. The nest is a flat, flimsy platform, made of interlaced twigs, normally placed in a thorny tree. It lays 1-4, usually 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both sexes, for 26-29 days. The chicks stay in the nest for 18-21 days, leaving before they can fly. At roughly 33 days old, the chicks can feed for themselves, and at roughly 35 days they can fly, becoming fully independent at about 41 days old.

Distribution and habitat

Occurs from Zambia, Malawi and coastal Angola through to southern Africa, where it is common in northern and central Namibia, northern and eastern Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and north-eastern South Africa. It generally prefers dry savanna, broad-leaved Burkea (Burkea africana) woodland, dry riverine woodland and suburban gardens.

Distribution of Grey go-away-bird in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Call

   

Both recorded by T. Harris, Musina, South Africa, [© Transvaal Museum]

Predators and parasites

Food 

It eats mainly plant products, such as fruit, flowers, leaves and buds, supplemented with small invertebrates. It often forages in tree canopies, sometimes descending to the ground to feed on invertebrates and low-lying plants. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Plant products
    • flowers
      • Acacia karroo (Sweet thorn)
      • Acacia robusta (Coastal splendid acacia)
      • Burkea africana (Burkea)
      • Sclerocarya birrea (Marula)
      • Erythrina (coral-trees)
      • Bauhinia (bauhinias)
    • buds and leaves
      • Acacia erioloba (Camel-thorn)
      • Acacia robusta (Coastal splendid acacia)
      • Ficus sur (Broom-cluster fig)
      • Melia azedarach (Persian lilac)
      • Boscia albitrunca (Shepherds-tree)
      • the fleshy bases of Aloe zebrina (Zebra aloe) leaves.
      • Medicago sativa (Lucerne)
      • cabbage
      • lettuce
    • fruit
      • mistletoes
        • Viscaceae
        • Loranthaceae
      • Berchemia discolor (Brown ivory)
      • Bridelia cathartica (Knobby bridelia)
      • Elaeodendron transvaalense (Bushveld saffron)
      • Diospyros mespiliformes (Jackal-berry)
      • Dovyalis caffra (Kei-apple)
      • Euclea (guarri)
      • Grewia (grewias)
      • Ficus sycomorus (Sycomore fig)
      • Ficus abutikifolia (Large-leaved rock fig)
      • Lannea schweinfurthii (False-marula)
      • Pappea capensis (Jacket-plum)
      • Salvadora persica (Mustard tree)
      • Strychnos decussata (Cape-teak)
      • Strychnos potatorum (Black bitterberry)
      • Ziziphus abyssinica (Large jujube)
      • Ziziphus mucronata (Buffalo-thorn)
      • Xanthocercis zambesiaca (Nyala-tree)
      • Melia azedarach (Persian lilac)
      • Cotoneaster (cotoneaster)
      • cultivated fruit
        • guavas
        • mulberries
        • peaches
    • nectar
      • Aloe marlothii (Mountain aloe)
      • Aloe globuligemma (Poison aloe)
  • Invertebrates
    • Hodotermes mossambicus (Harvester termite)
    • Imbrasia belina (Mopane emperor moth)
    • termite alates

Breeding

  • The nest is a flat, flimsy platform of interlaced twigs. It is typically placed 3-10 metres above ground in a thorny tree. In a survey of of 128 different nests, 95 were in thorny trees, 18 were in non-thorny trees, 12 were in clumps of mistletoe and 3 were in matted creepers.
Corythaixoides concolor (Grey go-away-bird, Grey Loerie)  

Grey go-away-bird at its nest with chicks, Sericea farm, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]

 
  • Egg-laying season is year-round, peaking from September-October.
  • It lays 1-4, usually 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 26-29 days. The incubating bird is very difficult to scare out of its position. In one situation, the nest was covered in smoke from a grass fire at the base of the tree, but the incubating bird did not fly off!
  • The chicks stay in the nest for 18-21 days, leaving before they can fly. At roughly 33 days old the chicks can feed themselves, learning to fly a few days later and becoming fully independent at about 41 days old.

Threats

Not threatened, in fact common across its distribution.

References

  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

 
 

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