Red-Chested Cuckoo

Introduction: Red-chested cuckoos (Cuculus solitarius) inhabit evergreen forest, mature gardens and stands of trees located around settlements in usually dry areas. As their name suggests they are a solitary creature, calling and perching from high in leafy tree canopies. Being fairly secretive they are difficult to see.  Solitarius is the Latin word for solitary.

Distribution: Scattered populations around Windhoek, Caprivi, Rundu and Waterberg Plateau.

Diet: Mainly insects such as hairy caterpillars also grasshoppers, spiders, beetles, millipedes, slugs, snails, lizards and frogs, berries and eggs of their host nesters.

Description: Small to medium-sized, hawk looking cuckoos with long and pointed wings. Rufous coloured breast, white lower breast and belly. Their tails are long and graduated. Cuculus is the Latin word for cuckoo.

Breeding: Brood parasites. Opportunistic laying due to being constantly chased by host nesters. Females lay around 20 eggs per season, chocolate to olive-green to pale greenish, with speckles, freckles and blotched red-brown in colour.

Size: 30cm.

Weight: 75g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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