Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 396 - Pheasant Coucal

The Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus) is a ground living cuckoo that is found around much of the eastern (from NSW) and northern coastal areas of Australia. It does not occur in my normal birding territory, and I saw this one in the Cooinda camp ground in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.

In fact I was eating my breakfast as it walked past! I cried "Pheasant Coucal" and set off in pursuit.  My family are tolerant of such things!

For a camp site bird it did seem rather nervous - maybe it was my excited cry.  You can see in most of the pictures that it is looking skywards as if in anticipation of danger.

Interestingly this is the only Australian cuckoo that makes its own nest into which it lays 3-5 'dirty white, chalky, stained brownish, scratched' eggs.  I get the feeling that the author of that description is somewhat disapproving!

The bird is about 50 - 70 cm long.  The dark head on this bird shows that it is in breeding plumage.











These pictures really do look better when you click on them to make them bigger.

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21 comments:

Megy Maia said...

Que lindíssimas fotografias.
Sorrisos de aplausos.
Megy Maia

Brian King said...

This is a new one for me! What a fantastic looking bird! Some of the feathers have a cheetah pattern. Beautiful!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Ground Cuckoos are fabulous birds, Stewart. The first member of this family I ever saw was the Greater Roadrunner in Arizona, and the most recent, Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo in Panama last April. Certainly worth jumping up and spilling a bowl of cereal kn your lap!

Nathalie SANTA MARIA said...

I know the situation. Giving up everything because the important bird is here! Lol
This coucal is beautiful. Well done.
Friendship

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
A fine bird worth chasing... as I understand it, all coucals build nests. That is to say, are non-parasitic breeders. Distinguishing them from 'old-world cuckoos'. YAM xx

italiafinlandia said...

It possesses its own beauty. I like its long tail - the European cuckoo has a long tail too.
All the best!

Rhodesia said...

It is beautiful, so glad you got these photos, a totally new bird to me. Cheers Diane

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

A fabulous bird to see and photograph Stewart. Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week

Ludmiła Jabłońska said...

What a wonder! I didn't know that such a bird exists! Forgive! I don't know Australian birds! Amazing!

Richard Pegler said...

What an amazing bird, Stewart, and superb photos too! Until I read David's comment, I didn't realise that it was related to the roadrunners in the Americas, one of which I saw briefly in the desert from a train in Mexico.

My very best wishes from a cold and very wet and windy UK - - - Richard

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Those cuckoos are a diverse lot! Its tail length and pattern are so impressive.

Marie Smith said...

I didn’t realize cuckoos had such long tails.

Veronica Lee said...

Fascinating to see these cuckoos up close!

Happy Wednesday, Stewart!

Shiju Sugunan said...

This looks very similar to female Asian Koel we see here in Bangalore. Great shots!

Lady Fi said...

Such lovely markings!

Lea said...

What a handsome bird!
Have a wonderful day!

This N That said...

I guess your breakfast got cold ...or maybe soggy..What a beautiful bird..I love its feather pattern..Great pictures Stewart..

Linda said...

Nice photos! What pretty tail feathers!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

The tail really makes this bird, doesn't it. Amazing. I never heard of it but reminds me we have grouse here and though brown and dun coloured, close up the markings are quite beautiful.

Elkes Lebensglück said...

so nice photos!!!

carolinesnatuurfotografie said...

Hi Stewart, such a beautiful bird, beautiful photos. Greetings Caroline