Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Diederik Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx caprius)


French: Coucou didric German: Goldkuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo didric
Other common names: Didric Cuckoo

Cuculus caprius


, 1783,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Thought to be part of a clade that contains also C. flavigularis, C. klaas and C. cupreus#R. Possible shorter-winged race, chrysochlorus, has been described as resident in W Africa along with long-winged birds, but short-winged individuals occur also in S Africa. Monotypic.


Sub-Saharan Africa; also S Arabia.

Descriptive notes

19 cm; 32 g. Adult male glossy bronze-green above, white supercilium broadest behind eye, white spots on wings and tail sides; white below, flanks barred green; eye-ring red... read more


Male has clear emphatic whistle, first notes often rising in pitch, “dee-dee-dee-diederik... read more


Semi-arid thorn scrub, acacia savanna, open woodlands, and edge of marshland habitat; locally also... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly caterpillars, also grasshoppers, termites, beetles, adult Lepidoptera, eggs of host birds; seeds. Forages mostly in canopy... read more


Breeds with rains, lays Aug–Oct in N Senegal, Aug–Nov in Sierra Leone, Sept–Oct in W Mali, Mar–Jul in coastal... read more


Resident in low-latitude tropics; also an intra-African migrant, seasonal in N and S of range. The... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common throughout much of its expansive range in fair variety of habitats, often quite heavily humanized; frequently fairly conspicuous due... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Bonan, A. (2020). Diederik Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx caprius). 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 29 February 2020).