Pheasant Coucal

Pheasant Coucal perched on a dead tree during breeding season
During Breeding Season
Pheasant Coucal perched on a branch out of breeding season
Outside of breeding season, mid-call

What does it look and sound like? When the Pheasant Coucal is breeding, the plumage of 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.

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