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Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Cercococcyx olivinus


32-34 cm.

  • Dark olive-brown upperparts
  • Greyish crown
  • Often unbarred remiges and coverts
  • Long tail with broad rectrices, tipped white or pale rufous
  • Whitish underparts with black barring
  • Greenish yellow eye-ring and skin around eye

Sexes similar. Juveniles are tawny with rufous feather tips above, have a pale throat, are streaked below and have pointed rectrices.


Africa; from Guinea and Ghana east through southern Nigeria and Cameroon to northern Democratic Republic of Congo, western Uganda, northern Angola and northwest Zambia. Possibly also in Sierra Leone.


This is a monotypic species.
Forms a superspecies with Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo.


Found mainly in unbroken mature forest. Also in secondary growth and gallery forest.


A shy and secretive species, often only noticed when calling.


Feeds on insects, mainly hairy caterpillars. Often in mixed-species flocks in middle and upper strata of forest.


Breeds in rainy season. A brood parasitic. Host species not known but Pale-breasted Illadopsis and Finsch's Flycatcher-Thrush suspected.


A resident species.


An emphatic three-note call, faling in pitch.


  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

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