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Pied Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: White-necked Coucal

Centropus ateralbus


42 - 48cm. The only black-and-white coucal in its range. Occurs in several colour morphs.

  • Black plumage with white on upper breast and neck and white patch on wing (sometimes brownish white)
  • All white morph with black forehad and lores
  • All white morph with black only on crown
  • All black morph with only white wing patch
  • Red eyes
  • Black bill

Sexes similar. Immatures are blackish with white feathers on crown, neck and wings. Juveniles are deep brown with purplish-glossed wings and tail, anterior half of body striped buff or rufous.


Australasia: found in the Bismarck Archipelago (New Ireland and New Britain)


This is a monotypic species.


Found in forest, at forest edge, in strand vegetation by shore cultivations, coconut, oil palm and ulatawa plantations and in gardens.
Occurs from sea-level up to 1300m, less common at higher elevations.


Often seen near the forest floor or in scrubby undergrowth. Usually in pairs or in small groups of up to four birds.


Feeds on large insects, lizards and other small animals. Forages by clumsily walking or hopping along branches.


Breeding season poorly known, fledglings observed from November to February, older nestlings also in May, July or August. The nest is a hollow or chamber made of dry stems and grass leaves. Lays 2 to 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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