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Pheasant Coucal

A Pheasant Coucal perching on a dead tree limb on a hot day. [Photographed by Peter Rowland]
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Scientific Name: Centropus phasianinus

Size: Size: 50 to 70 cm (female larger than male)

What does it look and sound like?

When the Pheasant Coucal is breeding, the plumage of the head, neck and underparts is black, with brown wings, back and tail.  Outside of this time the head and neck are straw-coloured, with paler feather shafts.  The call is also an unmistakable “oop-oop-oop-oop-oop…”, descending in the middle and then rising at the end.

Where is it found?

The Pheasant Coucal ranges through northern and eastern Australia.

What are its habitats & habits?

The Pheasant Coucal may breed twice in a single season.  Occasionally, a second nest is constructed near the first, and the second clutch is incubated while the chicks from the first brood are being raised. 

Interesting facts

Unlike all other cuckoo species in Australia, the Pheasant Coucal does not lay its eggs in the nests of other birds species.

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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