Tuesday, 2 September 2014

White-browed coucal

Centropus superciliosus

Photo by Eric van Poppel (Internet Bird Colletion)

Common name:
white-browed coucal (en); cucal-de-sobrancelhas-brancas (pt); coucal à sourcils blancs (fr); cucal cejiblanco (es); tiputip (de)

Order Cuculiformes
Family Cuculidae

This species is found from the south-western Arabian Peninsula, through south-eastern Sudan, Erithrea and Ethiopia, across East Africa, through southern D.R. Congo into Angola, and through eastern Zimbabwe and Mozambique into eastern and southern South Africa.

These birds are 36-42 cm long and weighs 160-180 g.

The white-browed coucal is found in dry savannas, tall moist grasslands, marshes, scrub dominated wetlands, freshwater lakes and rivers. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.800 m.

They feed on large insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, locusts and beetles, as well as spiders, snails, crabs, lizards, snakes, frogs, mice and small birds up to the size of doves.

White-browed coucals can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a large, untidy spherical structure, made of grass blades and stems and lined with leaves and roots. It is placed up to 10 m above the ground in reeds, scrubs or trees. The female lays 3-5 white eggs which are mainly incubated by the male for 14-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 18-20 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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