Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

African Cuckoo (Cuculus gularis)


Taxonomy

French: Coucou africain German: Afrikanerkuckuck Spanish: Cuco barbiblanco
Other common names: African Grey Cuckoo
Taxonomy:

Cuculus gularis

Stephens

, 1815,

Camdeboo, Eastern Cape, South Africa

.

Closely related to C. canorus, with which formerly considered conspecific. Recent mtDNA study, however, suggests that present species is closer to C. rochii, the two being a sister-clade to C. canorus and C. saturatus#R. Monotypic.

Distribution:

Senegal and Gambia E through N Nigeria to S Sudan, Eritrea, NW Somalia, and S to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and E South Africa. Mainly a non-breeding migrant in E Africa.

Descriptive notes

32 cm; 110 g. Adult dark ashy-grey above; tail dark grey with blackish barring, white tip, outer feathers barred white; chin to breast ashy-grey, rest of underparts white... read more

Voice

Male song a loud burry “coo-coó”, second note slightly higher and louder; female... read more

Habitat

Open woodland, acacia savanna; avoids dense evergreen forest and arid regions.

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly caterpillars. Forages through foliage, and also takes food on ground.

Breeding

Breeds in rains, Jan–Jun in coastal Ghana, Feb–Apr in Nigeria, Aug–Nov in Kenya, Sept–Dec in S Africa. Brood-... read more

Movements

Intra-African migrant. Arrives with the rains, sings and breeds during rainy season, then... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common in general throughout its sizeable range, though no precise figures available; locally common in some parts, notably in S Africa, but... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). African Cuckoo (Cuculus gularis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/54800 on 22 June 2017).