Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Near Threatened

Biak Coucal (Centropus chalybeus)


French: Coucal de Biak German: Biakkuckuck Spanish: Cucal de Biak

Nesocentor chalybeus


, 1876,

Biak, New Guinea


Very close to C. menbeki#R. In past grouped with C. bernsteini, C. phasianinus and C. spilopterus. Monotypic.


Biak I (Geelvink Bay), in N New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

44–46 cm. Adult black, glossed purple above, spiny feathers on foreparts, iris yellow, bill black (straighter than that of C. menbeki). Juvenile washed rufous... read more


Loud: a hollow note, repeated, a descending series of upslurred hoots going up and down in waves, a... read more


Primarily lowland forest, also second growth.

Food and feeding

Diet unknown. Feeds on ground, also in vines and in trees; noisy on ground, where hops; flies awkwardly, like other coucals.


No information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered near-threatened. According to one report, hunting and habitat destruction have severely reduced numbers in S of island, so main... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Biak Coucal (Centropus chalybeus). 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 13 November 2019).