Pheasant Coucal

Pheasant Coucal 1
During breeding season

What does it look and sound like? When breeding, the plumage the head, neck and underparts is black, with brown wings, back and tail.  Outside of this time the head and neck are straw-coloured, with paler feather shafts.  The call is also an unmistakable “oop-oop-oop-oop-oop…”, descending in the middle and then rising at the end.

Where does it live? The Pheasant Coucal ranges through northern and eastern Australia.


Pheasant Coucal 2
Outside of breeding season, mid-call

What are its habitats and habits? The Pheasant Coucal may breed twice in a single season.  Occasionally, a second nest is constructed near the first, and the second clutch is incubated while the chicks from the first brood are being raised.

Interesting fact: Unlike all other cuckoo species in Australia, the Pheasant Coucal does not lay its eggs in the nests of other birds species.

Size: 50 to 70 cm (female larger than male)

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store