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13

Pheasant Coucal

(Centropus phasianinus)
Alternate name(s): "Coucal", "Swamp Pheasant", "Cane Pheasant"
Size: 60-75 cm
Weight: 245-380 g (male), 330-585 g (female)
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Pheasant Coucal at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "phasianinus"

ADULT

BREEDING

Frontal view from below of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, January 2013]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, December 2016]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, January 2013]

Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage showing the bird's prominent "eyelashes" (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, January 2013]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage hiding in a tree; it is clearly visible that the bird is keeping a watchful eye on the photographer
[Eulah Creek, February 2012]

This image gives the clearest view of the upper body of the same Pheasant Coucal as shown above; its appearance is somewhat reminiscent of an Apostlebird, with barred wing plumage and a long tail; note also the impressive, long talons
[Eulah Creek, February 2012]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage with its head cocked
[Eulah Creek, February 2012]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in a Jacaranda tree with sparse foliage (photo courtesy of J. Meehan)
[Maryland, Newcastle, NSW, November 2012]

Near-dorsal view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, December 2016]

Distant frontal view of a Pheasant Coucal in flight (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, January 2013]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage in flight (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, January 2014]

NON-BREEDING

Frontal portrait of a Pheasant Coucal in non-breeding plumage; this species is usually shy and frontal shots tend to show birds hiding in dense shrubbery (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, March 2017]

Frontal view of a Pheasant Coucal in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, March 2017]

Frontal view of a Pheasant Coucal in non-breeding plumage; it is very unusual for a bird of this species to pose for the camera... (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, May 2017]

Near-frontal view of a Pheasant Coucal in non-breeding plumage on a fence post (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, May 2017]

Near-lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in non-breeding plumage on a fence post (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, May 2017]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in non-breeding plumage; this bird is seen near prickly shrubs, which is its usual habitat (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Pullenvale Forest Park, near Anstead, QLD, April 2017]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in non-breeding plumage; here the bird is seen out in grassland, which is more unusual (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Pullenvale Forest Park, near Anstead, QLD, April 2017]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in non-breeding plumage; it is more unusual yet for a bird of this species to pose for the camera... (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, May 2017]

Race "melanurus"

ADULT

BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Pickertaramoor, Melville Island, off Darwin, NT, December 2016]

Near-lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Pickertaramoor, Melville Island, off Darwin, NT, December 2016]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Pickertaramoor, Melville Island, off Darwin, NT, December 2016]

Lateral view of a Pheasant Coucal in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Koolan Island, WA, November 2013]

Behaviour

Pheasant Coucals are the only non-parasitic cuckoos of Australia. Yet, other birds don't want to have them around. We have seen them being chased by Pied Currawongs.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

pcoucal_art_20131203_2.mp3 phasianinus
(SE QLD)
Male calling female © ART
pcoucal_mac_20110205.mp3 phasianinus
(E NSW)
Male calling female (distant) © MC

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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