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Coppery-tailed Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Photo by nkgray
Chobe River, Botswana, September 2004
Centropus cupreicaudus



  • Violet glossed black upperback and crown
  • Violet gloss to head and neck
  • Dark brown wing and wing coverts
  • Rufous rump
  • Black, finely barred, uppertail coverts
  • Copper glossed brown tail
  • Cream underparts
  • Red iris
  • Black bill and feet


Tropical Africa: Zambia, Caprivi (north-western Namibia), northern Botswana, Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), Tanzania, southern Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malawi.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Subspecies songweensis is generally considered invalid[2].


Wetlands with reeds and other tall growth, swamps and marshes.



The diet includes snails, snakes, grasshoppers, fish, rodents and waterweed.


A spherical nest is built from grass, twigs and straw; it is lined with leaves. The clutch consists of 2-4 white eggs.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  2. Avibase
  3. The Cuckoos By Robert B. Payne, Michael D. Sorenson, Karen Klitz

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