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Philippine Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Romy Ocon
Subic Bay rainforest, Olongapo City, Philippines, April 2005

Alternative name: Green Coucal

Centropus viridis


41 - 43cm.

  • Black underparts and upperparts, glossed blue to green
  • Chestnut wings
  • Grey bare skin around eye
  • Red eye
  • Grey to black bill
  • white morph occurs on Luzon, with dull yellowish bill
  • major and mindoroensis are larger, carpenteri melanistic with blackish wings

Sexes similar, females are larger. Juveniles are black or blackish above, streaked buff, chestnut wings barred blackish, long unbarred bronze-green tail, tip sometimes barred.


Endemic to the Philippines.
Common in its range.


Four subspecies recognized:

  • C. v. major on Babuyanes Islands
  • C. v. viridis on Luzon, Mindanao, Masbate, Bohol, Negros, Cebu, Leyte, Samar and Catanduanes
  • C. v. mindoroensis on Mindoro and Semirara Is
  • C. v. carpenteri on Batan group


Grassland, mixed cultivation, disturbed second growth. Occurs from lowlands up to 2000m.
Replaces Black-hooded Coucal where primary forest has been destroyed.


Not easy to see except when perched in open on top of grass or small tree.


Feeds on insects. Forages usually near or on the ground.


Breeding observed from April to July. The nest is a bulky globe made of grass and with a side entrance. It's placed 1 to 1.5m above the ground. Lays 3 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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