Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)


French: Échenilleur à masque noir German: Schwarzgesicht-Raupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero carinegro

Turdus novae Hollandiae

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

“terra van Diemen” = Adventure Bay, Tasmania


Australian populations of nominate race and melanops exhibit continent-wide cline of increasing body size N to S; some authors#R synonymize the two. Birds from N Australia described as race didimus, but considered indistinguishable from melanops. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. n. subpallida Mathews, 1912 – WC Australia (Pilbara); non-breeding possibly Lesser Sundas and Kai Is.
  • C. n. melanops (Latham, 1801) – SW, S, E & N Australia and main offshore islands, also locally SE New Guinea (Port Moresby region); non-breeding Moluccas, Lesser Sundas, and E New Guinea E to W Solomons.
  • C. n. novaehollandiae (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Tasmania and islands in Bass Strait (King I, Furneaux Group); non-breeding SE Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    32–35 cm; 89–148 g. Male nominate race is light dove-grey on head, upperparts and upperwing-coverts; greenish-black from forecrown to eye and on side of head,... read more


    A cheerful, repeated “shri-lunk”, usually in flight, also a plaintive “plee-urk... read more


    Open forest, forest edges, clearings and secondary growth, savanna woodland, eucalypt (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats wide variety of invertebrates, including grasshoppers (Orthoptera), dragonflies (Odonata), cockroaches (Blattodea), termite alates (... read more


    May–Feb in N Australia, Aug–Jan in S, and Aug and Oct–Dec in Tasmania, after rains in arid regions; Sept–Dec in New... read more


    Tasmanian populations (nominate race) cross Bass Strait mainly in Mar–Apr to non-breeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally common in Australia; locally common in SE New Guinea. Densities in eucalypt woodland 0·03–0·25 birds/ha;... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Bonan, A. (2019). Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae). 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 17 November 2019).