Red-chested Cuckoo ( Cuculus solitarius, family: cuculidae)

red chested cuckoo kruger national park birds The Red-chested Cuckoo (Latin name Cuculus solitarius) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 377 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 205 also a picture of the Red-chested Cuckoo on page 208. The Red-chested 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 Red-chested 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 Red-chested Cuckoo in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Red-chested Cuckoo : see above distribution map.

The Red-chested Cuckoo.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Red-chested Cuckoo is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Red-chested Cuckoo is about 30 cms and its weight is about 75 gms

You will find that the male Red-chested Cuckoo plumage and colours are different to that of the female Red-chested Cuckoo

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

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Red-chested Cuckoo feeds on the ground and on wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Red-chested Cuckoo takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Red-chested Cuckoo is to use the nest of another bird. The surrogate family then raise the chicks. The bird lays eggs which are brown in colour and number between 20 eggs per season in different nests

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Red-chested Cuckoo are: woodlands

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

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Uphezukomkhono

Zulu ... uPhezukomkhono

Afrikaans ...Piet-my-vrou

German ... Einsiedlerkuckuck

Portuguese ... Cuco-de-peito-vermelho

French ... Coucou solitaire

Dutch ... Heremietkoekoek

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 377

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 ,