• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

White-browed Coucal - BirdForum Opus

\mikemik

nominate ssp
Photo © by mikemik
Serengeti, Tanzania, May 2018
Centropus superciliosus

Includes: Burchell's Coucal

Identification

Juvenile, subspecies superciliosus
Photo © by mikemik
Tarangire, Tanzania, April 2018

36–42 cm (14-16½ in)

  • Dark brown head
  • Broad white supercilium
  • Creamy underparts
  • Long tail

Variations

burchelli lacks the white superciliary stripe

Distribution

Central, southern and eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Western Africa: Gabon, DRC and Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Pemba Island, Mafia Island, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho
Middle East: Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Socotra

Taxonomy

burchellii
Photo © by rudydbn
Illovo Glen, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, October 2004

Subspecies

Centropus superciliosus has four subspecies[1]:

  • C. s. superciliosus:
  • C. s. sokotrae:
  • C. s. loandae:
  • C. s. burchellii:

C. burchellii is sometimes accepted as full species, Burchell's Coucal.

Burchell's Coucal
Photo © by George Koninis
Kruger National Park, South Africa, October 2012

Habitat

Riverine bush and wetlands.

Behaviour

It can be difficult to see due to its habit of skulking in shrubbery, undergrowth and dense waterside vegetation.

Breeding

As with other Coucals, the White-browed Coucal is non-parasitic. The males construct a nest, they then incubate the eggs and provide most of the feeding and care for the young.

Diet

Puffed up behaviour
Photo © by rdavis
Near Xigera Camp, central Okavango Delta, Botswana, November 2011

It has a wide diet consisting mostly of insects, but it will also take young birds and eggs. While it will feed on the ground it is easily disturbed, returning to cover in a clumsy, awkward fashion. These birds are not elegant fliers!

Vocalisation

They have a very distinctive song which consists of a series of "gurgling" notes which resemble the sound of water being poured from a bottle and gives them their local Kenyan name of "The Water Bottle Bird".

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2016)

Recommended Citation

External Links


Top