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Lesser Black Coucal - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 16:05, 19 January 2024 by Jmorlan (talk | contribs) (Added image. Removed "missing images" tag. Updated Clements ref. New GSearch and GSearch checked.)
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Adult, nominate race
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Klablim, Sorong Timur, Sorong City, West Papua, Indonesia. 22 November 2023.

Alternative names: Black-billed Coucal; Black Scrub Coucal, Bernstein's Coucal

Centropus bernsteini


46 - 52cm.

  • Black plumage, glossed green above
  • Dark brown eye
  • Black bill
  • manam is larger

Sexes similar. Juveniles are barred rufous above, their wings and tail are narrowly barred buff to pale chestnut, the throat whitish, the neck marked with chestnut-brown, the central belly is grey with dark bars, the rest of the underparts is blackish brown with narrow pale barring.


Endemic to New Guinea.
Not uncommon but little known.


Forms a superspecies with Pheasant Coucal and Biak Coucal.
Two subspecies recognized:

  • C. b. bernsteini in western and central New Guinea east to Simbang and the Sattelberg
  • C. b. manam on Manam Island (northeastern New Guinea)


Found in scrub, tall cane grass and rank vegetation. Occurs from sea-level up to 500m, sometimes higher.


Shy and difficult to observe.


No information.


The nest is a domed mass made of cane grass with a side opening. It's placed in grass. Lays 2 egg.


This is a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://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

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1