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Coppery-tailed coucal

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Coppery-tailed coucals (Centropus cupreicaudus) are resident in dense swamp vegetation, reedbeds, papyrus, inundated floodplains and tangled scrub with thicket. Cupreicaudus is the Latin word meaning coppery tail which refers to the violet sheen on the tail feathers, hence the name. Often difficult to observe due to their habit of only being active in the early morning and evening, otherwise under cover.

Distribution: Caprivi, Chobe National Park, Bwabwata National Park and the Okavango Delta.

Diet: A variety of small animals usually swallowed hole. Will tear open a weavers nest to eat nestlings. They are also partial to snails, crabs, frogs, fish, snakes, lizards, birds, rodents and chameleons.

Description: Females slightly larger than males. Black head, back and rump dark brown with violet sheen, blackish brown tail and creamy or white underparts.

Breeding: Nests are loosely built of grass and lined with leaves in a tangle of weeds usually no more than 1m above the ground. Between 2 and 4 eggs are laid between January and March.

Size: 47cm. Weight: 280g.

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