Alternative name: Ivory-billed Coucal; Greater Coucal (which may lead to confusion with Centropus sinensis)
- Centropus menbeki
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.
Endemic to New Guinea and some adjacent islands.
Widespread but uncommon in its range.
There are 3 subspecies:
- 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
Found in forest, at forest edge and in shrub. Occurs from sea-level up to 800m.
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.
Recently fledged juveniles recorded in January and October. The nest is a large mass of leaves, placed in a pandanus tree.
This is a resident species.
- 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/
- 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
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Greater Black Coucal. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 17 April 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Greater_Black_Coucal