The grey lourie (Corythaixoides concolor) is also known by the name of “go-away” bird or in Afrikaans, “kwêvoël” . It is entirely grey with a prominent crest which is raised and lowered when alarmed. It occurs in dry woodland and wooded suburban environments where it can often be seen on a conspicuous perch from where it will give it’s well known call. This behaviour does not endear this bird to hunters who, after an arduous stalk to get close enough to an animal to get a shot, often “have their cover blown” and their presence betrayed by a call which does not sound unlike the words “go away”.
These birds are quick and agile and clamber about in the foliage of trees in their search for fruits and flowers which make up the bulk of their diet. They are particularly fond of the flowers of Acacia robusta and of the fruits of the jackal berry (Diospyros mespiliformes). They will also eat nestlings, leaves, seeds and insects. They usually occur in pairs or small parties that are highly vocal, especially when disturbed. They fly at fairly low altitudes and have a characteristic flight pattern consisting of slow, floppy wing beats interspersed with gliding. They breed throughout the year. Their nests are flimsy, unlined saucers made of twigs built in the upper central branches of trees. The clutch averages three eggs which is incubated by both parents. Young fledglings are fed by both parents and sometimes a helper as well. Grey louries tend to be silent in the vicinity of their nests which is in contrast to their noisy response when approached at other times. Although making pets of these birds should not be encouraged or condoned, they nevertheless make delightful pets as they have real “character”.