I met a Burchell’s Coucal while walking in the neighbourhood. They’re very reclusive birds who prefer to spend their time hidden deep in bushes and shrubs. I did not know we had any near us!

That is the same Burchell of Zebra fame, there are so many species named after him.

They are voracious hunters and enjoy eating just about anything smaller than them.

White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus)

...a species of Coucal (Centropus spp.) that is native to sub-Saharan Africa. White-browed coucals are typically encountered in areas with thick covered afforded by rank undergrowth and scrub, including suitable coastal regions. The southern subspecies is sometimes split as a separate species known as Burchell’s Coucal (Centropus burchelii). The distinctive call of the white-browed cocual is similar to water pouring from a bottle, which sometimes earns it the local name of Rainbird.


Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Cuculiformes-Cuculidae-Centropus-C. superciliosus

July 28, 2019 - Blue-headed Coucal (Centropus monachus)

These cuckoos are found in a patchy range through parts of central Africa, in swamps, marshes, papyrus, and a variety of other habitats. Spending much of their time on the ground, they feed on insects, snails, the eggs and chicks of other birds, lizards, snakes, and other animals. They build oval nests from dry grass, sedges, sticks, and leaves, in bushes, sedges, or trees. Males may incubate the eggs.

September 24, 2017 - Senegal Coucal or Rufous-bellied Coucal (Centropus senegalensis)

These cuckoos are found in three separate populations, in Egypt, across much of central Africa, and in part of southeastern Africa. They eat insects, frogs, small rodents, reptiles, and smaller birds and their eggs. Pairs are likely monogamous and breed during rains, which make grasses easier to build with and tall enough to hide their nests. Females build the dome-shaped nests from grasses, twigs, and green leaves. Males incubate the eggs alone and both parents feed the chicks.

April 15, 2017 - Greater Coucal, Indian Coucal, or Crow Pheasant (Centropus sinensis)

These cuckoos are widespread throughout India, southern China, and much of Southeast Asia. They eat a variety of small animals, such as mice, hedgehogs, frogs, lizards, and insects, hunting from the ground. Although they are not closely related to pheasants, they resemble them somewhat while moving slowly through tall grass with their heads held high. Breeding during rainy seasons, pairs build woven untidy nests at the center of bushes or low in trees. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.