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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Klaas's Cuckoo

Afrikaans name: Meitjie

Male Klaas's Cuckoo

Klaas's Cuckoo

Photo © Steven Herbert

Chrysococcyx klaas

Klaas's Cuckoo is quite a common bird in the southern and eastern regions of South Africa. During summer its call is commonly heard.

These birds are very beautiful and are similarly coloured to the Diderick Cuckoo. Females are fairly similar to makes but have thin brown stripes on their underparts.

The most interesting thing about these and other cuckoos is their breeding method. They parasitise a wide variety of other species of birds such as the Chinspot Batis, Cape Batis, Grey Sunbird, Marico Sunbird, Bar-throated Apalis and many more. The host broods the egg. The chick then chucks out any other eggs or chicks so that it gets the complete attention of its hosts.

Klaas's Cuckoos mainly feed on caterpillars but they also eat butterflies, beetles and termites.

The Afrikaans name for this bird is "Meitjie", which is pronounced "may key" and is quite an accurate representation of its call.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 156

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 110

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 110

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 82

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 100

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 45

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 119

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 127

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 40

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 106

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 80

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 160

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 208

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 208

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 143

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 242

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 250

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 336

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 331

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 230

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 238

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 35

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1979 - Page: 24

The Doves, Parrots, Louries & Cuckoos of Southern Africa - Author: M.K. Rowan - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 334

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 112

List of South African Birds

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