Centropus cupreicaudus (Coppery-tailed coucal) 

Grootvleiloerie [Afrikaans]; Mukuku (generic term for cuckoos and coucals) [Kwangali]; Koperstaartspoorkoekoek [Dutch]; Coucal des papyrus [French]; Angola-mönchskuckuck [German]; Cucal-cauda-de-cobre [Portuguese]

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Centropus cupreicaudus (Coppery-tailed coucal) Centropus cupreicaudus (Coppery-tailed coucal) 

Coppery-tailed coucal, Botswana. [photo Gerhard Theron ©]

Coppery-tailed coucal, Botswana. [photo Mike Grimes ©]

The Coppery-tailed coucal is endemic to south-central Africa, occurring in a small band from south-western Angola to the Caprivi Strip and northern Botswana, preferring dense waterside vegetation. It eats a wide range of animals, including grasshoppers, frogs and fish. The nest is a hastily built ball of grass, placed in dense tangles of reed or grass, sometimes over water. It lays 2-4 eggs, sometimes before the nest has been completed, and are probably incubated by the male. The chicks are fed mainly locusts and frogs by both parents, leaving the nest after about 17 days.

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to south-central Africa, occurring in a small band from south-western Tanzania to Angola, northern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip. It generally prefers dense waterside vegetation, especially in swamps, inundated flood plains and vleis.

Distribution of Coppery-tailed coucal in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).

Food 

The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

Breeding

  • The nest is a scruffy grass platform, probably built by the male. It is usually placed in dense tangles of reed or grass, sometimes over water.
  • Egg-laying season is from January-March.
  • It lays 2-4 eggs, sometimes before the nest has been completed. They are probably incubated by the male only.
  • The chicks are fed mainly locusts and frogs by both parents, leaving the nest after about 17 days.

Threats

Not threatened.

References

  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

 
 

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