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Violaceous Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Violet Coucal; Giant Forest Coucal

Centropus violaceus


64 cm. A large, black Coucal.

  • Black plumage with violet sheen
  • Red eye
  • Greyish bare skin around eye, black eye-ring
  • Black bill and legs
  • Slaty-horn feet

Sexes similar. Juvenils are dull black above and have glossed purple wings and tail.


Endemic to New Britain and New Ireland (Papua New Guinea).
Status little known. Considered to be widely but thinly distributed in suitable habitat.


This is a monotypic species.
Forms a superspecies with Goliath Coucal and Greater Black Coucal.


Moist lowland primary forests. Occurs from lowlands up to 950 m.



Feeds on large insects, takes also frogs and snails.
Forages actively in limbs of trees and vines.


The nest is a loose structure made of twigs and placed in the top of a tall tree. 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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