Grey Turaco

Grey Turaco

Scientific Classification

Common Name
grey turaco, grey go-away bird, grey lourie
Genus Species
Corythaixoides (helmet-shaking) concolor (similar in color)

Fast Facts

The grey turaco is a medium-sized gray bird with a long tail and tall crest feathers. This species has a short, dark bill, and dark eyes. The body is slightly counter-shaded and the legs are gray. The tail is long and measures about the same length as the body.
From beak to tip of tail 47.5 to 50 cm (19 to 20 in.)
Less than .45 kg (less than 1 lbs.)
Feed mostly on fruit, mainly figs (bananas are not native to Africa); they will also forage for berries, flowers, leaves, termites, seedpods, acacia, and snails
26 to 28 days
Clutch Size
2 to 3 eggs
Fledging Duration
4 weeks
Sexual Maturity
1 to 2 years
Life Span
Up to 20 years
This species has an extremely large range and can be found in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be common throughout much of its range. The population appears to be stable and is not severely fragmented.
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendix II for members of genus Tauraco
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

These gray birds are characterized by a very distinct "G'way" call, giving them their nickname, grey go-away bird. They use this call to warn the other birds in their flock of impending danger.

Turacos are the only birds to possess true green and red pigmentation. When you look at most birds, the color that you perceive is a function of the feather structure and refracted light. The green pigments are produced by substances that are rare to other birds. The red colors are produced by porphyrin pigments that are unique to the animal kingdom.

Turacos possess semi-zygodactyl feet with 3 toes in front and one toe to the side. The toe that points outward can be rotated to the front or back.

These birds have a beautiful set of crest feathers that can reach a height of about 5 cm (2 in.) during periods of excitement.

Turacos live in large flocks of up to 30 individuals. They are monogamous breeders. During courtship, the male turaco will feed the female. Together, they build their nest, with female and male taking turns incubating the eggs. Once the eggs have hatched, other flock members help the female care for the chicks. Chicks can fly at 4 weeks of age. They usually leave the nest at around 6 weeks of age.

They use their long tails to maintain balance and their feet are well adapted for gripping branches. These birds seem to enjoy running along horizontal branches, rather than hopping or flying.

Ecology and Conservation

Turacos are a food source for several different predators.

Local abundance combined with semi-destructive feeding habits may bring turacos into conflict with farmers who consider the birds to be pests.

Turacos play an integral role in seed dispersal and forest renewal.


Austin, G. Birds of The World. Golden Press, Inc., New York, 1961.

Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. Blandford Books Ltd., UK, 1981.

Simpson, D.P. Cassell's Latin Dictionary. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1959.

BirdLife International. 2016. Corythaixoides concolor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22688396A93196103. Downloaded on 27 February 2019.