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Black-throated Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Centropus leucogaster

Includes Neumann's Coucal


Length 46-58 cm; a large coucal.

  • Black upperparts and from head to breast
  • Barred buff back
  • Blue glossed tail
  • Rufous-chestnut wings, darker at tips
  • White belly with creamy wash on flanks
  • Red eye
  • Black bill
  • Black to blue-grey feet
  • leucogaster violet-blue glossed, efulensis with blackish inner secondaries, neumanni smaller but otherwise similar to efulensis

Sexes alike. Juveniles similar but without gloss on head and breast, barred brown on wings, buffy belly with more bars and horn lower mandible.


West and Central Africa.
Uncommon to fairly common in its range.



Centropus leucogaster has three subspecies:

  • C. l. leucogaster
  • C. l. efulenensis
  • C. l. neumanni
  • North-eastern DRC
  • Considered a separate species (Neumann's Coucal) by some authorities.[2][3][4]


Dense second growth along forest edge and grassy swamps. Often along streams and at margins of raphia swamps.
Occurs in lowlands.


Skulking, often difficult to see.


Feeds on insects, takes also snails and frogs.
Forages on or near the ground.


Breeding season differs through range. The nest is a large ball made of leaves and grass, placed up to 30cm above the ground in a bush, in forest or in long grass. Lays 2 eggs.


This is a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221
  3. Gill, F, M Wright and D Donsker. 2009. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.0). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  4. Sibley, CG and BL Monroe. 1996. Birds of the World, on diskette, Windows version 2.0. Charles G. Sibley, Santa Rosa, CA, USA.
  5. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.