Senegal Coucal, Nigeria

Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis
Abuja, Nigeria. July 2008

Coucals are large members of the cuckoo family, with eleven representatives in Africa. The Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis ranges right across Africa from the Gambia to northern Sudan, with a separate population spread over a wide area of southern Africa. It’s a bird of grassy habitats with trees, such as bush and savannah (occupying a similar niche to eg Asia’s Lesser Coucal). Sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller and barred above.

The Senegal Coucal takes a wide range of insects, caterpillars and small vertebrates. It occasionally eats other food items.

Most coucals have loud, booming calls, and the Senegal Coucal is no different, advertising its presence with a loud ‘ook-ook-ook’ call that sometimes sounds like someone blowing across the top of a bottle.


senegal coucal

senegal coucal

senegal coucal

senegal coucal


Photographs copyright Charlie Moores


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About the author

Passionate about animal welfare and conservation, veggie and dairy-free, I live in the Wiltshire (UK) countryside. I co-founded Birders Against Wildlife Crime and Birds Korea. Trustee of the League against Cruel Sports On Twitter @charliemoores

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