Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Ground Cuckooshrike (Coracina maxima)


French: Échenilleur terrestre German: Grundraupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero terrestre

Ceblepyris maxima


, 1839,

New Holland = New South Wales, Australia


Previously placed in Pteropodocys. N birds have been separated as race pallida on basis of slightly paler overall colour, but degree of difference from birds elsewhere in range is small (minor Gloger effect). Monotypic.


Australia, mainly in interior.

Descriptive notes

31–38 cm; 124–155 g. Large, slender and long-legged cuckoo-shrike; slightly forked tail unique in family. Has grey head, nape, mantle and breast, darker on ear-... read more


A loud, repeated “pee-oo” or “queel” delivered in flight; “chill-... read more


Inhabits open, usually rather dry, lightly timbered country, including low eucalypt (Eucalyptus... read more

Food and feeding

Eats mainly adult and larval insects, including mantids (Mantodea), grasshoppers and locusts (Orthoptera), Phasmatodea, and ants (... read more


Recorded in all months, but mainly Aug–Dec/Jan, and after rains in arid regions. Nests communally; sometimes breeds co-operatively,... read more


Thought to be resident in some areas, and no large-scale seasonal movements apparent. Regarded as... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread, but generally regarded as uncommon; rarely found near coasts. Density of 0·5 birds/ha recorded on Nullarbor Plain, in Western... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). Ground Cuckooshrike (Coracina maxima). 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 27 January 2020).