Jacobean Cuckoo

Introduction: Jacobean cuckoos (Clamator jacobinus) inhabit mixed savannah woodlands and in particular Acacia, as well as valley bushveld. They are found singly or in pairs or in groups of 3, proudly perching, crest raised to attention, calling to whoever will listen.

Distribution: Throughout northern and central Namibia including Etosha National Park, Damaraland and Kaokoland. It is absent from the Namib Desert and southern Namibia. There is a sub species C.j. serratus that can be found in the far north-eastern regions of the country in Tsumkwe and along the Caprivi.

Diet: Forages in foliage and along stems and branches of both dead and live trees, searching under leaves and in forks of tree and branch, as they hop from branch to branch. They feed mainly on spiny caterpillars.

Description: Medium to large crested cuckoos with long, graduated tails. Their legs and feet are sturdy with a loud and chattering voice. Females lay large eggs and these cuckoos brood parasite other bird species eggs, rarely removing host eggs, but raising together with their own young. Clamator is the Latin word for noisy, which refers to their loud, chattering cries. Jacobinus is Latin and is derived from Jacobin, a French Dominican friar, as their pied plumage resembled the traditional habit of these friars. Often confused with Levaillant's cuckoo.

Breeding: Between 3 and 7 eggs are laid between December and March with an incubation period of 12 days.

Size: 34cm.

Weight: 83g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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