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Greater Black Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Ivory-billed Coucal; Greater Coucal (which may lead to confusion with Centropus sinensis)

Centropus menbeki

Identification

60 - 67cm. A large, black Coucal.

  • Glossy black plumage
  • Long tail
  • Red eye
  • Whitish bill with black base
  • menbeki darker above, aruensis dark purplish black above, jobiensis more greenish

Sexes similar. Juveniles are dull blackish and have rufous bars at base of tail.

Distribution

Endemic to New Guinea and some adjacent islands.
Widespread but uncommon in its range.

Taxonomy

Forms a superspecies with Violaceous Coucal and Goliath Coucal.

Subspecies

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • C. m. menbeki:
  • New Guinea, western Papuan islands and Numfor Island
  • C. m. jobiensis:
  • Yapen Island (Geelvink Bay off northern New Guinea)
  • C. m. aruensis:
  • Aru Islands

Habitat

Found in forest, at forest edge and in shrub. Occurs from sea-level up to 800m.

Behaviour

Diet

Feeds on small vertebrates including snakes, frogs and small birds, takes also arthropods and large insects. Forages on the ground with clumsy movements, in vines and on tree trunks where it switches its tail from side to side.

Breeding

Recently fledged juveniles recorded in January and October. The nest is a large mass of leaves, placed in a pandanus tree.

Movements

This is a resident species.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  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

Recommended Citation

External Links

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