Black Coucals

The Black Coucal (Centropus grillii) is sometimes regarded as conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species) with the Madagascar Coucal (Centropus toulou), but voices of the two differ; has also been considered possibly conspecific with the Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis), but their ranges are highly disjunct and their vocalizations apparently differ.

This species is considered monotypic (one single species).

Distribution

This African cuckoo occurs naturally in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Breeding

The species has the role of sexes reversed with the males tending the nest while females are polyandrous and maintain territories. Studies on the hormonal system show that male hormones are responsible for controlling the aggressiveness of females.

Coucal Information and Listing of SpeciesCoucal Photo Gallery

Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds

Beautyofbirds.com's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.