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Senegal Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Centropus senegalensis
Photo by Steve G
Kairaba Hotel, Kololi, The Gambia, March 2005

Identification

39 cm

  • Black upperparts, bill, legs and long tail
  • Chestnut wings
  • White underparts

Sexes are similar

Juvenile
Photo by Sidor
Kololi, Gambia, November 2007

Juveniles are duller and barred above

There is a rarer dark phase of the bird, which some people believe to be a different species. The dark-phase bird is only found from Ghana to southern Nigeria. The two phases interbreed[3].

Distribution

Africa
Northern Africa: found only in Egypt
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, DRC, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa

Taxonomy

Photo by obasanmi
Ranwelli, Sri Lanka, June 2013

Subspecies

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • C. s. aegyptius:
  • Lower Egypt (Nile River to El Minya)
  • C. s. senegalensis:
  • C. s. flecki:

Habitat

Moist woodland scrub, swamps, farmland and gardens.

Behaviour

Active at dawn & again at dusk.

A bizarre skulking cuckoo relative which spends a large amount of time on the ground creeping through the undergrowth.

Breeding

They are not brood parasites, building large untidy ball-shaped nests of stalks and leaves in vegetation. The clutch consists of 2-4 eggs.

Though their reproductive strategy is poorly understood it may involve juvenile helpers and possibly polygamy.

Diet

The diet includes large insects, caterpillars, small lizards and frogs.

Vocalisation

This bird's call is a classical west African sound resembling water glugging out of a bottle (hence the alternative name of Bottle-bird) - a kind of sonorous low pitched who-who-who-who-who noise.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. JH Elgood's "Birds of the West African town and garden"
  4. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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