Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Bay Coucal (Centropus celebensis)


French: Coucal des Célèbes German: Celebeskuckuck Spanish: Cucal de Célebes
Other common names: Celebes Coucal

Centropus celebensis

Quoy and Gaimard

, 1830,

Manado, Sulawesi


Relationships uncertain; has been considered closest to C. unirufus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. celebensis Quoy & Gaimard, 1830 – N Sulawesi and Togian Is#R.
  • C. c. rufescens (A. B. Meyer & Wiglesworth, 1896) – rest of Sulawesi; Muna, Butung, Labuan and Blanda.
  • Descriptive notes

    44–50 cm. Adult mostly rufous, crown grey, back olive-grey, wings wine-rufous; iris red, bill black, horn at tip, feet black. Juvenile like adult, but paler throat and... read more


    Call a hollow ranging “koo-ko-ko...”, started by one bird and joined by others, and... read more


    Lowland and lower montane rain forest, in lianas and rattan thickets, ranging through forest edge... read more

    Food and feeding

    Large insects, especially Orthoptera, locusts, beetles; spiders. Arboreal in behaviour, more like Phaenicophaeus than a typical... read more


    No information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Status and biology very poorly known; research required. Locally common, e.g. in Dumoga-Bone National Park in mid-1980s. Occurrence in wide range of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Bay Coucal (Centropus celebensis). 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 on 23 January 2020).