Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)


Short-toed Coucal (Centropus rectunguis)


French: Coucal de Strickland German: Kurzspornkuckuck Spanish: Cucal de Strickland

Centropus rectunguis


, 1847,

Malacca, West Malaysia


Thought to be sister to C. melanops and C. steerii#R. Monotypic.


Extreme S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.

Descriptive notes

37–43 cm; male 160 g, female 167–237·5 g. Similar to C. sinensis, but smaller and shorter-tailed. Adult black, glossed purplish blue, with... read more


Four to five resonant booming notes, “buup”, on descending scale, like those of C.... read more


Lowland closed-canopy forest (alluvial forest, peat swamp forest, riverine forest); also reported... read more

Food and feeding

Presumably mainly insects, as in other coucals, but also observed predating large frogs. Will kill birds caught in mist-nets.


Fledglings tended by adults in May in Thai-Malay Peninsula and chick on Sumatra in Mar. Nest (Sept, in Peninsular Malaysia) a globular but... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Previously considered Near Threatened. May be at risk owing to habitat specialization, low colonizing ability, and possible competition from other species of... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & de Juana, E. (2019). Short-toed Coucal (Centropus rectunguis). 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 16 December 2019).