Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis castaneiventris)


French: Coucou à poitrine rousse German: Rostbauchkuckuck Spanish: Cuco ventricastaño

Cuculus (Cacomantis) castaneiventris


, 1867,

Cape York district, Queensland, Australia


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. arfakianus Salvadori, 1889 – W Papuan Is, and W New Guinea from Vogelkop to Weyland and Snow Mts and E to Fly R.
  • C. c. weiskei Reichenow, 1900 – E New Guinea (E from Sepik region, Huon Peninsula and upper Purari R).
  • C. c. castaneiventris (Gould, 1867) – Aru Is, and NE Australia (Cape York and NE Queensland).
  • Descriptive notes

    24 cm; 34 g. Adult slate-grey above, bright chestnut below; eye-ring yellow, iris brown, bill black and yellow, feet yellow. Juvenile unbarred dark grey-brown above, tail... read more


    Loud 3-note mournful whistled “seei-to-seei”, first note upslurred, second shorter,... read more


    Interior of montane forest, rain forest and scrub along riverbanks; also in mangroves, but rare at... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, especially caterpillars. Moves through forest canopy, taking insects; also watches from low perch, and flies to ground; also... read more


    Breeds ?Sept/Oct–Dec/Jan in Australia. Brood-parasitic: hosts include Grey-green Scrubwren (Sericornis arfakianus) in New... read more


    In most of range resident, and fairly sedentary, including observations around the year in Cape... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Overall status unclear, as very few data available on relative abundance throughout range; species appears to be scarce to rare in Cape York... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis castaneiventris). 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 February 2020).