Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Coucal (Centropus toulou)


Taxonomy

French: Coucal toulou German: Tulukuckuck Spanish: Cucal malgache
Other common names: Malagasy Coucal, Madagascar Black Coucal
Taxonomy:

Cuculus Toulou

Statius Müller

, 1776,

Madagascar

.

Molecular data indicate that this species is sister to C. goliath#R. Sometimes regarded as conspecific with C. grillii, but voices of the two differ; in the past was occasionally considered to include C. bengalensis. Extinct population of Assumption I (Aldabra Group) sometimes awarded separate race †assumptionis. Two subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. t. toulou (Statius Müller, 1776) – Madagascar.
  • C. t. insularis Ridgway, 1894 – Aldabra; formerly also Assumption I (S of Aldabra), where now extinct.
  • Descriptive notes

    40–46 cm; male 139 g, female 189 g (toulou), male 117 g, female 131 g (insularis). Adult black, but for unbarred rufous-chestnut middle and lower back... read more

    Voice

    Muffled “toogoo toogoo toogoo...”, decreasing in volume, duets; a “water-bottle” call, also a... read more

    Habitat

    Dense vegetation or underbrush in forest, primary forest, recent clearings, second growth,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, large insects (beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars), spiders, lizards, rats, chicks and eggs. Feeds on ground, in thick... read more

    Breeding

    Adults in breeding plumage Jul–Sept; nesting records Sept–Mar. Nest a large domed sphere, woven from dry grass, 1–4 m... read more

    Movements

    Resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and fairly common in Madagascar, except on the denuded central plateau; estimated population of several hundred birds in Aldabra Is, where... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2017). Madagascar Coucal (Centropus toulou). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/54878 on 17 November 2017).