Levaillant's Cuckoo

Introduction: Levaillant's cuckoo (Clamator levaillantii) or the striped cuckoo, was named after the French ornithologist, author, collector and explorer, François Le Vaillant (1753-1824). Acacia and miombo woodlands along watercourses combined with taller vegetation are preferred habitats. They are rarely seen singly and are usually in pairs and are considered uncommon in their distribution range.

Distribution: Scattered populations in the north and central areas of the country including Etosha National Park, Bwabwata National Park, Kwando River, Mudumu National Park, Nkasa Rupara (formerly Mamili) National Park and Victoria Falls. Fairly common in the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve.

Diet: Mainly hairy caterpillars, grasshoppers.

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

Breeding: Male and female approach potential nests, flying back and forth to attract attention to themselves, with the female hopping into the nest at the earliest opportunity to lay 1 egg, which takes a few seconds before they both move away. Up to 4 eggs are laid per clutch with an incubation period of around 11 days.

Size: 40cm.

Weight: 150g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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