Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Near Threatened

Rufous Coucal (Centropus unirufus)


French: Coucal roux German: Bambuskuckuck Spanish: Cucal rufo

Pyrrhocentor unirufus

Cabanis and Heine

, 1863,

Luzon, Philippines


Probably closest to C. melanops#R. Previously thought to be closest to C. celebensis. Proposed race polillensis (Polillo) probably inseparable from birds in rest of species’ range. Monotypic.


Luzon, Polillo and Catanduanes, in N Philippines.

Descriptive notes

38–42 cm; 184 g. Adult rufous, bare skin around eye yellow, iris light brown, bill greenish with yellow tip, feet black. Juvenile as adult, but white hair-like down on... read more


Call a shrill, plaintive “kaow” when separated from its mate.


Hill forest in matted undergrowth, tangled lowland forest with bamboo, usually on or near ground,... read more

Food and feeding

Not known.


No information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered near-threatened. Situation may be somewhat precarious because of restricted range and the loss of forest habitat therein. The... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Rufous Coucal (Centropus unirufus). 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 20 February 2020).