Burchell's Coucals

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Burchell’s Coucal, Centropus burchelli, Boulders Singita, Sabi Sands, South Africa

The Burchell's Coucals (Centropus burchelli) occur naturally in Africa and are by come considered to be the southern subspecies of the White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus)

Calls / Vocalizations

This species' distinctive call, which resembles water pouring from a bottle, is said to signal impending rainfall, earning the bird the name "Rainbird."


This Coucal measures about 16" or 410mm in length and has a striking plumage, with a broad, yellowish-white supercilliary stripe, which is a unique feature amongst other coucals within its range.

Its habit of skulking in shubbery, undergrowth and dense waterside vegetation makes it difficult to spot.

Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on insects, but it will also take young birds and eggs.

Breeding / Nesting

The Burchell's Coucal is non-parasitic (they raise their own young). The males construct a nest, they then incubate the eggs and provide most of the feeding and care for the young.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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