Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo (Cercococcyx olivinus)


French: Coucou olivâtre German: Olivkuckuck Spanish: Cuco colilargo oliváceo

Cercococcyx olivinus


, 1912,

forest on mountains bordering Rutshuru Plain, Nord-Kivu, east DRCongo


Closely related to C. montanus. Monotypic.


Sierra Leone (Gola Forest) and S Guinea to S Ghana, then intermittently E through S Nigeria, Cameroon, N Congo and N DRCongo to W Uganda; also in the Kasai zone (NE Angola, SW DRCongo)#R and S Congo (Mayombe); NW Angola; NW Zambia.

Descriptive notes

32–34 cm; 65 g. Adult dark olive-brown above, crown greyish, remiges and coverts often unbarred, tail long, rectrices broad, tipped white or pale rufous; wing about 82... read more


(1) Song a persistent, emphatic 3-note call, falling in pitch, repeated at rate of 10 songs/25 sec... read more


Forest, mainly unbroken mature forest, also small patches of forest, secondary growth, and gallery... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly hairy caterpillars. Forages in middle and upper strata of forest and in crowns of trees; accompanies mixed-species flocks... read more


Breeding season apparently in rains in many regions, but between main rains (little dry season) in wetter regions; gonads enlarged Sept... read more


Resident. No known movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Population levels unknown, but species said to be uncommon in Nigeria. Like C. mechowi, however, this is a shy and secretive species,... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo (Cercococcyx olivinus). 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).