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Species Guide
A photo of a Grey Go-away-bird (Crinifer concolor)
Grey Go-away-bird

Grey Go-away-bird

Crinifer concolor

The grey go-away-bird, also known as the grey lourie, grey loerie, or kwêvoël, is a distinctive bird of the southern Afrotropics. With a smoky-grey plumage, a long tail, and a wispy crest that can be raised in excitement, this bird is a sight to behold. The strong, decurved beak is black, contrasting with the pink gape and tongue, and the plumage varies slightly in shade across different parts of the body.

Identification Tips

Adults of both sexes are similar in appearance, measuring 47–51 cm from bill to tail tip and weighing between 200 to 300 grams. The crest, reaching 6 to 7 cm in length, is a key feature for identification. The darkest grey can be found on the chin and throat, while the area around the eyes and belly is paler. The breast plumage may have a slight olive wash, reminiscent of its relative, the bare-faced go-away-bird.


The grey go-away-bird is found in arid to moist, open savanna woodlands, particularly where Acacia trees abound. It is also a common sight in miombo woodlands, along watercourses, dry riparian forests, and in Acacia woodlands on alluvium. These birds are also comfortable in human-altered landscapes such as farms, gardens, and parks.


This species is native to a range of southern African countries, including Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Eswatini.


Despite their somewhat slow and laboured flight, grey go-away-birds are capable of covering considerable distances. They exhibit agility when navigating the treetops, running along limbs and hopping from branch to branch. They are sociable birds, often forming groups of up to 30 individuals that forage together in the canopy.

Song & Calls

The grey go-away-bird is vocal, especially when disturbed, making loud and nasal "kweh" or "go-way" calls. The last syllable is typically a descending drawl, which is quite distinctive and memorable.


Breeding involves the construction of a flimsy nest platform made from thin, sometimes thorny sticks, resembling a substantial dove's nest. The nest, often containing three white eggs, is placed at the center of an isolated tree. Both parents share in all aspects of chick rearing, from incubation to feeding the down-covered chicks with regurgitated food.

Similar Species

Due to its unique combination of color, appearance, and habits, the grey go-away-bird is unlikely to be confused with other bird species within its range.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the grey go-away-bird is predominantly fruit-based, including wild figs, berries, flowers, buds, leaves, termites, and snails. They feed on a variety of plant genera and also consume fruit from exotic invasive species, playing a role in seed dispersal.

Conservation status

The grey go-away-bird is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, indicating that it is not currently at significant risk of decline in the wild.

Grey Go-away-bird Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Grey Go-away-bird Fun Facts

Did you know?
Grey Go-away-birds are named after their characteristically loud "go-way" call.

Grey Go-away-birds on Birda


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