Black Cuckoo ( Cuculus clamosus, family: cuculidae)

black cuckoo kruger national park birds The Black Cuckoo (Latin name Cuculus clamosus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 378 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 206 also a picture of the Black Cuckoo on page 208. The Black Cuckoo belongs to the family of birds classified as cuculidae.

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 Cuckoo is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common summer visitor

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

Kruger Park Black CuckooIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

The Black Cuckoo is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Black Cuckoo is about 31 cms and its weight is about 90 gms

You will find that the male Black Cuckoo plumage and colours are different to that of the female Black Cuckoo

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is black.
  • Back is black.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Black Cuckoo feeds on the ground and on wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Black Cuckoo takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Black Cuckoo is to use the nest of another bird. The surrogate family then raise the chicks. The bird lays eggs which are green in colour and number between 4 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Black Cuckoo are: woodlands

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

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unomntanofayo

Zulu ... iNdodosibona

Afrikaans ...Swartkoekoek

German ... Schwarzkuckuck

Portuguese ... Cuco-preto

French ... Coucou criard

Dutch ... Zwarte Koekoek

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 378

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 ,