Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

North Melanesian Cuckooshrike (Coracina welchmani)


French: Échenilleur de Welchman German: Solomonen-Raupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero de Welchman
Other common names: Solomon Islands Cuckooshrike

Graucalus (Artamides) welchmani


, 1892,

Bugotu (= Santa Isabel), Solomon Islands


Previously treated as conspecific with C. caledonica, but differs in its dark vs pale yellow iris (3); greater extent of black on head and throat (2); gloss on black areas (1); smaller size (allow 1); evidently different song (score clearly at least 1); and arguably different habitat (mainly confined to montane forest vs mainly confined to lowland forest and savanna) (possibly 1). Four subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. w. bougainvillei (Mathews, 1928) – Bougainville I.
  • C. w. kulambangrae Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1916 – New Georgia Group (Kolombangara, New Georgia and Vangunu), in Solomon Is.
  • C. w. welchmani (Tristram, 1892) – Santa Isabel.
  • C. w. amadonis Cain & I. C. J. Galbraith, 1955 – Guadalcanal.
  • Descriptive notes

    30–33 cm; 133–165 g. A large cuckoo-shrike, with large bill and moderately long tail. Male nominate race has dark slaty-grey head and upperparts, including... read more


    Call on Bougainville (race bougainvillei) a squeaky “mee-ahh-ahh”, on Guadalcanal (... read more


    Forest, usually on hills or mountains, but occasionally reported from foothills or lowlands on... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats large insects and fruit. Forages in pairs, occasionally in small groups, at outer edge of canopy, moving slowly; shuffles its wings... read more


    Nest-building observed in mid-Aug on Kolombangara. No other information.


    None reported.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in the Solomon Group EBA. Uncommon to rare; very few records away from Kolombangara, where locally not uncommon.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). North Melanesian Cuckooshrike (Coracina welchmani). 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 17 February 2020).