Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Philippine Coucal (Centropus viridis)


French: Coucal vert German: Grünkuckuck Spanish: Cucal filipino

Cuculus viridis


, 1786,

Antigua, Panay, Philippines


Molecular data indicate that this species is closest to C. grillii and C. bengalensis#R#R. Although races form two groups of different-sized taxa and two groups with different wing colour, sizes do not correlate with wing colour, and the geographical pattern appears to make little sense: the two large forms are in far N of Philippines, carpenteri, with black wing, and major, with rufous wing; farther S, small nominate viridis is rufous-winged, and smallish mindorensis has black wing. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. v. carpenteri Mearns, 1907 – Batan Is (extreme N Philippines).
  • C. v. major Parkes & Niles, 1988 – Babuyan Is (N Philippines).
  • C. v. viridis (Scopoli, 1786) – Luzon, Polillo, Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Leyte, Mindanao and Basilan (N, C & S Philippines).
  • C. v. mindorensis (Steere, 1890) – Mindoro, Semirara, Caluya and Sibay (NC Philippines).
  • Descriptive notes

    41–44 cm; male 113 g, female 150 g (viridis), male 149 g, female 209 g (carpenteri), male 162 g, female 218 g (major). Adult viridis... read more


    “cuc, cuc, ...” or “Cha-gook-chook”.


    Tall grass, mixed cultivation, disturbed second growth, thickets, from lowlands up to 2000 m.

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles and caterpillars. Usually feeds on or near the ground.


    Breeding records Apr–Jul. Nest a bulky globe of grass, entrance on one side, in bed of giant grass, c. 1–1·5 m above... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common within its range, and evidently adaptable; its ability to accept man-altered habitats is clearly an advantage in terms of its... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Philippine Coucal (Centropus viridis). 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 25 February 2020).