The Bare-faed Go-away Bird

4th July 2010

Distribution: There are two subspesies of  bare-faced go-away bird: Corythaixoides personatus personatus and Corythaixoides personatus leopoldi.

The bare-faced go-away bird has a large distribution range estimated at 730,000 km. It occurs in two distinct areas: 1) In Ethiopia from the southern border north through the Ethiopian rift valley highlands. 2) The second population is found in Malawi, northern Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda,  south-western Uganda, north-eastern Tanzania and western Kenya.  

Status: Though the global population size has not been quantified, it is believed to be large as the species is described as 'common' in at least parts of its range. Global population trends have not been quantified either, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. Likewise, for the CITES, the bare-faced go-away bird is not globally threatened, and considered locally common in parts of its range.

Habitat:  It inhabits fairly open country, acacia savanna and thornbush habitat, open woodland, and frequents trees along river courses as it is dependent on water. It is commonly found at altitudes ranging from 500 to 2000m.

General habits: Though the bare-faced go-away bird is a relatively uncommon bird, it is, nevertheless, rather easy to spot where it does occur, being large, restless and noisy!

Feeding habits: It feeds mainly on fruits, with a preference for berries, but also on leaf buds and seeds.

Nest: Nests are built mostly in tall acacia trees.

Eggs: The bare-face go-away bird lays 2 to 3 greenish-white oval eggs.

Description: Bare-faced go-away birds are large birds measuring approximately 48-50 cm from beak to tail, and weighing around 210-300g. They have a characteristic long tail and crest. Both sexes are grey in colour. Legs, feet and the male’s bill are black, whereas the female's beak is green. The bare-faced go-away bird can easily be  distinguished from the white-bellied go-away bird, which shares part of its distribution range, by its bare black face.


Did you know: The bare-faced go-away bird is also called : Black-faced Lourie [English] ; Touraco masqué, Touraco à gorge nue [French], Nacktehl-Lärmvogel [German] ; Turaco Enmascarado  [Spanish]; Maskertoerako [Dutch]; Turaco faccianuda [Italian].