Cairns to Cape Tribulation

Information for Pheasant coucal - Centropus phasianinus subs. melanurus

Eukaryota >Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Cuculiformes > Cuculidae > Centropus > Centropus phasianinus subs. melanurus

Pheasant coucal
Centropus phasianinus subs. melanurus

A large (up to 70cm) species of cuckoo that is found in far north Queensland and New Guinea's sub tropical moist lowland rainforest.


Pheasant coucal - Centropus phasianinus subs. melanurus near Daintree Village - Photo by Kylie Pawlow


Between Cairns and Cape Tribulation, you will find the subspecies melanurus

It can often be found in the cane fields and seen crossing the road between Cairns and Cape Tribulation. They are usually fast enough to get out of the way, but occasionally get hit.

It is unusual for the cuckoo family, in that it makes its own nest, rather than laying eggs in anothers nest. It makes a bowl shaped nest of twigs and leaves in long grass or dense bush. The male incubates and raises the young with the female helping with feeding. It usually has a clutch of 3 to 5 eggs and they can have more than one clutch in a season.

The Pheasant coucals diet consists mainly of small reptiles and amphibians as well as insects and other birds eggs and young.

It call is a deep-bass "coo-coo-coo-cooucal".