Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Klaas's Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx klaas)


French: Coucou de Klaas German: Klaaskuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo de Klaas

Cuculus Klaas


, 1815,

Cape Province, South Africa


Thought to be part of a clade that contains also C. flavigularis, C. cupreus and C. caprius#R. Birds from Arabia proposed as possible race arabicus and those from S Ethiopia as somereni, but neither appears sufficiently distinct to warrant recognition. Monotypic.


S Mauritania#R and Senegal E to Ethiopia, Eritrea and SW Arabia#R and S to South Africa, including Bioko and São Tomé#R.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 26 g. Adult male metallic green above, green patch from back down side of neck, white streak behind eye, outer tail white; white below, flanks barred green; eye-ring... read more


Two clear whistles, “meit-jie”, the first slurred up, the second slurred down.


Open woodland, forest edge, thickets; in Sierra Leone, particularly common in areas of forest/... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly caterpillars, also butterflies, bug nymphs, beetles, small Orthoptera, termites. Forages in foliage, and occasionally... read more


Breeds in rains, Sept–Nov in Senegambia, Mar–Sept in Nigeria, Dec–Jun E of Rift Valley in E Africa, Oct–Feb in... read more


Resident in equatorial areas. Seasonal migrant at higher latitudes, arriving in rains, leaving... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. A widespread and generally common species; persists in residential areas where flowers are available for sunbird hosts. Although there are no... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Klaas's Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx klaas). 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 14 December 2019).