- Cacomantis variolosus
Includes: Rusty-breasted Cuckoo
21–28 cm (8¼-11 cm) Male
- Grey-brown upperparts
- Light grey-buff underparts
- Grey head, neck and breast
- White tipped tail barred white underneath
Female: two colour morphs
- Unbarred morph
- Similar to male
- Paler buff underneath
- Pale grey barring across chest
- Barred morph - less common
- Streaked/barred upper parts
- Darkly barred underparts
- Heavily barred dark brown upperparts
- Mottled and barred underneath
- C. v. sepulcralis (Rusty-breasted): Southern Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Greater Sundas, Lesser Sundas and Philippines
- C. v. everetti: Sulu Archipelago (Jolo, Basilan, Tawitawi and adjacent islands)
- C. v. virescens: Sulawesi, Butung, Tukangbesi and Banggai Islands
- C. v. infaustus: Northern Moluccas to northern and central New Guinea
- C. v. tymbonomus: eastern Lesser Sundas (Timor, and possibly east to Tanimbar Island)
- C. v. oreophilus: Highlands of eastern and southern New Guinea
- C. v. blandus: Admiralty Islands
- C. v. macrocercus: Bismarck Archipelago (New Britain, New Ireland and Tabar)
- C. v. websteri: New Hanover (Bismarck Archipelago)
- C. v. addendus: Solomon Islands
- C. v. variolosus: Northern and eastern Australia; winters to Moluccas and New Guinea
Coastal mangrove to montane mossy forest up to 2000m. Open woodlands and bushy gardens.
A secretive species.
This is a brood parasite using a wide variety of nests as hosts, such as tailorbirds, sunbirds, fairywrens, honeyeaters and shrikes as host species.
They lay a single egg which varies in colour and design to match the host. Incubation takes about 13 days, the hatchling then ejects any other hatchling and eggs. It fledges after 17-19 days and is cared for by the adults for a further month.
Their main diet consists of caterpillars (both hairless and hairy), with the addition of grasshoppers, beetles, bugs, wasps, spiders and snails.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Payne, R. B. (2020). Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.brucuc1.01
- Birds in Backyards
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Brush Cuckoo. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 11 April 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Brush_Cuckoo