Black Coucal ( Centropus grillii, family: centropodidae)

black coucal kruger national park birds The Black Coucal (Latin name Centropus grillii) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 388 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 216 also a picture of the Black Coucal on page 209. The Black Coucal belongs to the family of birds classified as centropodidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Black Coucal is also known by these other names: African Black Coucal.

The Robert's 7 Latin name for Black Coucal has changed from Centropus bengalensis in Robert's 6 to Centropus grillii

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Black Coucal is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Black Coucal in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Black Coucal : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Black Coucal is a bird a little bit bigger than a starling. The height of the Black Coucal is about 35 cms and its weight is about 100 gms

The male and female Black Coucal have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is blue, black.
  • Eye is grey.
  • Bill is yellow.
  • Throat is brown.
  • Back is blue, black.
  • Legs are blue, grey.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Black Coucal feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Black Coucal is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Centropus grillii will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Black Coucal is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 6

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Black Coucal are: grasslands

You will normally see the Black Coucal by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Swartvleiloerie

German ... Tulukuckuck, Grillkuckuck

Portuguese ... Cucal-preto-africano

French ... Coucal noir

Dutch ... Zwarte Spoorkoekoek

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 388

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,