Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Gabon Coucal (Centropus anselli)


French: Coucal du Gabon German: Ansellkuckuck Spanish: Cucal de Gabón

Centropus anselli


, 1874,

Danger River, Gabon


Range complementary to that of C. leucogaster, suggesting that the two may be sister-species, a possibility supported by mtDNA data#R. Form C. leucogaster neumanni of NE DRCongo has been considered more closely related to present species, and may even be a distinct species. Monotypic.


S Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to NW Angola and C DRCongo.

Descriptive notes

46–58 cm; male 210 g. Adult purplish-glossed black above and on head; lower back buff, barred black; tail blackish bronze, wings rufous with darker tips; below rich... read more


Song 9–12 descending loud, deep notes delivered with head lowered and throat puffed out;... read more


Primary forests, undergrowth in swampy forests, second growth, old cultivations, grassy swamps.

Food and feeding

Omnivorous; diet includes insects (grasshoppers, katydids, beetles), molluscs, frogs, small snakes, small birds. Feeds mainly on or near... read more


Breeding begins with rains or in little dry season in wettest forest region: lays Dec–Feb in NE Gabon, young in Nov in Uelle, Mar in... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common, but difficult to observe. Population density 3–5 pairs/100 ha in Gabon, where its territories are mutually exclusive... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Gabon Coucal (Centropus anselli). 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 3 April 2020).