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Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies C. c. castaniventris
Photo © by davidfree
Iron Range, Queensland, Australia, 21 July 2019
Cacomantis castaneiventris


  • Slaty grey upperparts and wings
  • Darker grey head and tail
  • Chestnut underparts and throat
  • Thin white eye ring
  • Dark iris
  • Grey bill, legs and feet


Found on New Guinea, adjacent islands (like Aru) and northeast Australia (eastern coast of Cape York and northeast Queensland).
Population status unclear as very few data available. Appears to be scarce to rare in Australia.

Photo © by mehdhalaouate
Genyem, Papua, Indonesia



There are 4 subspecies[1]:

  • C. c. arfakianus:
  • C. c. weiskei:
  • C. c. castaneiventris:


Mangrove and dry forests.
Occurs mainly from 1200m to 2100m, rarely lower.



Feeds on insects, mainly caterpillars.
Forages in the canopy, moving around or watching from a low perch.


Breeding season from September to January in Australia. A brood parasitic. Known hosts are Grey-green Scrubwren and Tropical Scrubwren.


Resident in most of its range. In extreme south of range probably only a non-breeding visitor.


A loud three-note mournful whistled "seei-to-seei". The first note is upslurred, the second shorter and the third upslurred and trilled. Voice


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221
  3. Avibase

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