Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Black-eared Cuckoo (Chalcites osculans)


French: Coucou oreillard German: Schwarzohrkuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo orejinegro

Chalcites osculans


, 1847,

New South Wales, Australia


Sometimes placed in monospecific genus Misocalius#R#R; has alternatively been included in Chrysococcyx. Monotypic.


Australia; non-breeding visitor to Moluccas, E Lesser Sundas, Aru Is and S New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

20 cm; 30 g. Adult grey above with slight metallic gloss, long white supercilium, broad black band through eye, pale rump, tail grey with white tip; creamy buff below; eye-... read more


Descending low whistle, “peeeer”.


Open scrub, dry woodlands, mallee, mulga, saltflats, waterside forests and thickets; rare in... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly caterpillars, also beetles; seeds. Forages in shrubs and on ground; flight swift and direct.


Breeds Jun–Oct in W, Aug–Dec in E. Brood-parasitic: hosts small Australian warblers, e.g. Redthroat (Pyrrholaemus brunneus... read more


Migratory or nomadic, breeding in response to rains. Breeds mainly S of Tropic of Capricorn.... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. A fairly common species in most of its habitats except wet, forested coastal areas, where it is uncommon; sometimes irregular in occurrence, and at... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Black-eared Cuckoo (Chalcites osculans). 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 25 February 2020).