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Gabon Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Centropus anselli


46 - 58cm.

  • Purplish-glossed black upperparts and head, buff lower back barred black
  • Blackish bronze tail
  • Rufous wings with darker tips
  • Rich tawny underparts
  • Red eye
  • Black bill

Sexes alike but females larger. Juveniles are dark brown above, their head has pale shaft streaks, the forehead is buff, the wings black-barred rufous, the tail black barred buff, the underparts rufous-buff and finely barred black, the centre of belly unbarred buffy.


Western and central Africa: found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and northwestern Angola.
Fairly common to common.


This is a monotypic species.
Probably allospecies with Black-throated Coucal and subspecies neumanni of the latter may be more closely related with this species.


Forests, second growth, swampy forests, grassy swamps, old cultivations.


A shy and difficult to observe species.


Omnivorous, feeds on insects, molluscs, frogs, small snakes, small birds.
Forages on or near the ground, scavenges around villages and camps.


Breeding season December to February in Gabon, young birds observed in November in Uelle, March in Angola. No information on nest or 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

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