Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Chattering Yellowbill (Ceuthmochares aereus)


French: Malcoha à bec jaune German: Westerzkuckuck Spanish: Malcoha africano occidental
Other common names: Blue Malkoha, Yellowbill (when lumped with Ceuthmochares australis)

Cuculus æreus


, 1817,

Malembo, Cabinda (Angola)


Until recently considered conspecific with C. australis. Proposed race extensicaudus (WC Tanzania) is synonymized with nominate, as is intermedius (Central African Republic). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. flavirostris (Swainson, 1837) – Gambia E to Nigeria (W of R Niger).
  • C. a. aereus (Vieillot, 1817) – Nigeria (E of R Niger) and Bioko E to S South Sudan, Uganda and W Kenya, and S through W Tanzania#R#R and DRCongo to Angola and N Zambia.
  • Descriptive notes

    33 cm; male 54–74 g, female 52–80 g. An arboreal, slender-bodied and somewhat squirrel-like cuckoo, with a very long graduated tail lacking any white spotting.... read more


    Song consists of a series of high notes descending in pitch and staccato, or increasing in tempo... read more


    Forest, upper canopy of old secondary evergreen forest and riverine forest, and forest edge, where... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, leaf-hoppers, winged termites, bees, spiders; tree frogs, slugs, fruit,... read more


    Laying dates Mar and May in Ghana (with nestbuilding observed Dec), Dec in Ivory Coast, Oct–Dec and Feb in Sierra Leone, Jun and Aug... read more


    Resident, though observed seasonally Nov–Jun in forest islands in Gambia (see also Status and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Secretive behaviour of this forest and thicket cuckoo limits frequency of observations, but is considered more or less common in SW Senegal, Bijagos... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Chattering Yellowbill (Ceuthmochares aereus). 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 30 March 2020).