coly, noun

Forms:
Also colley, colly.
Origin:
modern Latin, GreekShow more Probably from modern Latin generic name colius from Greek kolios a kind of woodpecker; but see also quotation 1913.
mousebird.
[1801 J. Barrow Trav. I. 232The modest garb of the colii, of which I met with three species, formed a striking contrast with the gaudy plumage of the others.]
1838 J.E. Alexander Exped. into Int. I. 182We got here plenty of birds, as..collys with blueish plumage, crests, and long tails.
a1867 C.J. Andersson Notes on Birds of Damara Land (1872) 204 (Pettman)It is not unlike a gigantic Coly; it also climbs and flies like the colies, which it strongly resembles in its general habits.
1910 A.B. Lamont Rural Reader 32Colies (muisvogels) devour great quantities of strawberries.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 125Colley, This name, which in England (Somerset) is given to the blackbird, is occasionally used in South Africa of the Muis-vogel.
1923 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 87The Mousebirds, or Colies (Family Coliidae), are as bad at fruit-thieving as the Bulbuls, if not more so, and devour large quantities of apricots, plums, peaches, etc.
1937 M. Alston Wanderings 97Most numerous of all were the mouse-birds or colies, those long-tailed, grey, parrot-like birds peculiar to South Africa.
1953 J.M. Winterbottom Common Birds of S.-E. 19The Red-faced Coly is found wherever there are trees and bushes...This Coly has been reported as a host of the Black-and-Grey Cuckoo.
1970 O.P.M. Prozesky Field Guide to Birds of Sn Afr. 168Mousebirds or colies are smallish long-tailed birds peculiar to Africa.
1985 G.L. Maclean Roberts’ Birds of Sn Afr. 369Family 51 Coliidae — Mousebirds (Colies).
mousebird.
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18011985