Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis)


French: Coucou de Horsfield German: Rotschwanzkuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo de Horsfield
Other common names: Australian Bronze-cuckoo

Cuculus basalis


, 1821,





Australia and Tasmania. Winters N to Java and irregularly beyond.

Descriptive notes

17 cm; 22 g. Adult brownish bronze above, head browner than back, long white supercilium and dark eye-stripe, tail sides rufous, notched white; whitish below, throat lightly... read more


Descending high whistle, “peeer”, repeated once every 5 sec, faster and higher than... read more


Open woodland, mulga, scrub, including dry interior, spinifex, coastal saltmarsh, generally arid... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly caterpillars, also beetles (Coccinellidae), bugs. Forages in foliage and on ground; flight swift and direct.


Breeding in Western Australia varies with seasonal rains, Aug–Oct in Southwestern Division, Oct–Dec near Perth, Jan–Mar... read more


Partial migrant. A few remain all year in E Australia E of the Dividing Range and also in S of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common in much of breeding range, though scarce in Northern Territory and Kimberley Division of Western Australia. Reported breeding densities of 0... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Bonan, A. (2020). Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis). 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 2 April 2020).