Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Shining Bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites lucidus)


French: Coucou éclatant German: Bronzekuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo broncíneo

Cuculus lucidus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand


Thought to be sister to C. ruficollis#R. Races reasonably well differentiated or very distinctive, and may represent four separate species. Birds on Malekula I, in Vanuatu, described as race aeneus, but not morphologically distinct from other populations of the island region. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. l. plagosus (Latham, 1801) – Golden Bronze-cuckoo – Australia, Tasmania; migrates to New Guinea region, N Melanesia and Lesser Sundas.
  • C. l. harterti Mayr, 1932 – Rennell Bronze-cuckoo – Bellona I and Rennell I (S Solomons).
  • C. l. layardi (Mathews, 1912) – New Caledonian Bronze-cuckoo – Santa Cruz Is, Banks Is, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Loyalty Is.
  • C. l. lucidus (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – Shining Bronze-cuckoo – New Zealand, Norfolk I and Chatham Is; winters Solomons and other islands in SW Pacific#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    17 cm; 23 g, but up to 50 g before migration. Adult bronze-green above, tail green, face variably whitish (including lores); white below, barred greenish to bronze, throat... read more


    Series of upslurred whistled notes like those used to call a dog, “feee, feee, feee ...... read more


    Forest, woodland, scrub, mainly areas with more than 380 mm of rainfall; sea-level to 1000 m. In... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, mainly caterpillars. Forages in tree and shrub canopy, also on ground. Joins mixed-species flocks of insectivorous resident... read more


    Breeds Jul to early Dec in Queensland, Oct–Dec in Western Australia. Brood-parasitic: hosts in New Zealand, Grey Warbler (... read more


    Migrant and partial migrant. Nominate lucidus breeding in Australia and New Zealand is a... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in areas of wooded country in New Zealand and Australia. Breeding densities in Australian eucalypt woodland calculated at c. 1 bird/km... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Shining Bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites lucidus). 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 19 February 2020).