Black Coucal

Introduction: Black coucals (Centropus grillii) can be found in low grass, especially in marshy areas with little or no trees. The low grass is where they spend much of their time and are usually located by the sound of their song or call. A feature of the black coucal is their early morning sunbathing sessions, held because of their tenancy to get drenched in dew. This bird was named after the Swedish zoologist, JW Grill (1815-1864).

Distribution: Generally scarce with isolated populations around the Chobe River/National Park area, Kaudom Game Park and Oshakati area.

Diet: Creeps through grass on the look-out for invertebrates such as green and brown crickets, caterpillars and grasshoppers. Ants, beetles and spiders are also taken.

Description: Dark olive brown back, black tail and chestnut wings.

Breeding: A nest is built by the male which resembles a deep cut, wedged in dense grass with base and walls formed with grass stems and padded with dry grass and leaves added during the incubation period 14 days. Between 2 and 6 eggs are laid between December and March.

Size: 35cm.

Weight: 100g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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