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White-browed Coucal

From Opus

Revision as of 16:25, 24 November 2010 by Wintibird (Talk | contribs)
nominate sspPhoto by Steve GMalindi, Kenya, August 2007
nominate ssp
Photo by Steve G
Malindi, Kenya, August 2007
Centropus superciliosus

Includes: Burchell's Coucal



This is a large bird (about 16", 410mm in length) with very striking plumage including its distinctive broad, yellowish-white supercilliary stripe. However it can be difficult to see due to its habit of skulking in shubbery, undergrowth and dense waterside vegetation.
burchelli is missing the white superciliary stripe


Central, southern and eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.


juvenilePhoto by juninhoMaasai Mara NP, Kenya
Photo by juninho
Maasai Mara NP, Kenya

Centropus superciliosus has four subspecies:

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


Riverine bush and wetlands.


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.

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!

burchelliiPhoto by rudydbn Illovo Glen, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Photo by rudydbn
Illovo Glen, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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".

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