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22

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike

(Coracina papuensis)
Alternate name(s): "Papuan Cuckoo-shrike", "Little Cuckoo-shrike", "Swainson's Cuckoo-shrike", "White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike"
Size: 26-28 cm
Weight: 55-95 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "robusta"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike checking out the photographer; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 3 October 2015
[Pilliga scrub, near Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2015]

Lateral view of a male(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 3 October 2015
[Pilliga scrub, near Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2015]

Dorsal view of a male(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike - this is the bird whose call was recorded
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, April 2014]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, September 2012]

Near-frontal view of a female(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, September 2012]

Near-lateral view of a female(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, September 2012]

Female(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike "shuffling" its wings, thereby showing its underwing pattern
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, September 2012]

Race "artamoides"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; note the black lores and the white arch behind the eye
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, near Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2018]

Near-lateral view of a male White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Warrumbungle NP, NSW, April 2016]

Near-lateral view of a male White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; note the faint barring on the front (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, December 2016]

Near-lateral view of a male White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, with a clear view of the light-grey underwing (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, December 2016]

Lateral view of a male(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, January 2006]

Dorsal view of a male(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, January 2006]

Race "hypoleuca"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; note the black lores (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, July 2013]

Lateral view of a male White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a male White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Palmerston, NT, August 2018]

Dorsal view of a male White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, March 2013]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; note the grey lores (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, July 2014]

Frontal view of a female White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, WA, April 2018]

Near-frontal view of a female White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, WA, April 2018]

Lateral view of a female White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; note the grey, rather than black, lores
(photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, July 2018]

Lateral view of a female White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, WA, April 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, July 2014]

Dorsal view of a female White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, July 2014]

Race "apsleyi"

ADULT

FEMALE

Lateral view of a female White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; note the grey lores (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island, NT, September 2016]

Race "oriomo"

ADULT

MALE

Near-dorsal view of a male(?) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike; note the black lores and the lack of striation on what is visible of the front/flanks (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Cairns, QLD, July 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Jan Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: 21 - 22 days Fledging age: ca. 21 days

The breeding season of White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes depends on geographic latitude. The period listed in the table above applies mostly to the SE of the continent. Given the right conditions, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes can breed from about June to March.

Nest building: Male & female Incubation: Male & female Dependent care: Male & female

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Bark strips, straw, bound with spider webs Height above ground: 6 - 10 m

Nests of White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes are constructed on the angle of a fork. They are rather shallow, small baskets, often shaped flat as a saucer, and sometimes quite rudimentary affairs (similar to the nests of Tawny Frogmouths).

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike on its nest in an eucalypt tree; this nest was found to be close to a Magpie-lark's (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, November 2017]

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike on its nest, now seen at a different angle (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, November 2017]

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike nest in a casuarina tree (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Warrumbungle NP, near Coonabarabran, NSW, November 2017]

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike nest seen at a different angle, now with both owners in attendance (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Warrumbungle NP, near Coonabarabran, NSW, November 2017]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 30 x 22 mm Colour: Grey, with darker brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial? Mobility: Locally nomadic Elementary unit: Pair/family clan

Food, Diet

Like all members of the Coracina family known to us, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes hunt small animals, up to the size of a Praying Mantis or a centipede, from low perches.

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike with its (unidentified) prey
[Timmallallie NP, Pilliga scrub, NSW, December 2017]

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.

whbcshr_20151003.mp3 robusta
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
whbcshr_20140402.mp3 robusta
(NW NSW)
? © MD
whbcshr_20140402_2.mp3 robusta
(NW NSW)
? © MD
 
whbcshr_20181112_4.m4a artamoides
(NW NSW)
Contact call (male) © MD
whbcshr_20181112_5.m4a artamoides
(NW NSW)
Contact call (male) © MD
whbcshr_20171209.m4a artamoides
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
whbcshr_20151021_2.mp3 artamoides
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
whbcshr_20151021.mp3 artamoides
(NW NSW)
Squabbling © MD

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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