The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Burchell's Coucal

Afrikaans name: Gewone Vleiloerie

Burchell's Coucal

Burchell's Coucal

Photo © Steven Herbert

Centropus burchellii

The Burchell's Coucal is a biggish bird which is around 40 cm in length. They weigh about 180 grams. Apparently females are slightly larger than males.

It is found along the coast from Cape to Kosi Bay. It is also found in the eastern and north-eastern region of the country.

This species preys on insects, small mammals such as mice and smaller birds. It occasionally eats fruit.

Although the Burchell's Coucal is related to the cuckoo it doesn't exhibit cuckoo breeding behaviour. It makes a nest and raises its own chicks.

Some people call this bird the 'rain bird' as they associate its call with the onset of rain.

The Burchell's Coucal may be seen sunning itself in the early morning. It perches in a bush with its back to the sun and spreads its wings slightly.

References and further reading

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 55

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 46

The Doves, Parrots, Louries & Cuckoos of Southern Africa - Author: M.K. Rowan - Published: 1983 - Page: 384

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

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 145

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 167

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 240

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 232

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 337

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 341

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 253

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 245

Newmans Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1991 - Page: 40

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 189

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 214

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 55

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 214

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 162

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 62

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 181

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 104

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 119

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 42

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 40

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 102

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 84

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 128

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 68

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 144

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 154

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

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

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