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Black Coucal

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
M.Paxton
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Black Coucal

Unread post by M.Paxton » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:46 am

The black coucals have been sighted again this year in the Nshawu vlei near Mopani Camp.

Oryx
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by Oryx » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:46 am

If you happen to be in the area, have a look on the plains north of Lower Sabie, west of Muntshe hill. They are seen there quite regularly.

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Rusty Justy
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by Rusty Justy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:33 pm

A bird im still yet to see, Now that the skys have opened, im sure they will be around.........Wish they would come to me though :twisted: I can't seem to get to them!
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jb72
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by jb72 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:51 am

I saw this fellow at the weekend near Punda. Am I correct in ID'ing it as a Black Coucal ????

Image

wingman
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by wingman » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:08 pm

:clap: :clap: :thumbs_up: a nice sighting well done

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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by o-dog » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:52 pm

Great to get info on this bird that still eludes me :thumbs_up:

Will lookout for them near Nshawu & Muntshe...
& great pic by the way-right out in the open :clap:
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forestgump
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by forestgump » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:13 pm

nice one JB72 , but did you ID the tree ? :doh:
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Batmad
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by Batmad » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:45 pm

Fantastis Sighting! We searched for this bird at Munche and to no prevail....
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jb72
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by jb72 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:09 am

forestgump wrote:nice one JB72 , but did you ID the tree ? :doh:


Off coarse... The bird, the tree, and even the grass around it.... :D

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:31 am

Unusual for this bird to pose out in the open, I got a rare opportunity on my recent trip to Zimbabwe to record this coucal as it sat surveying its territory, just outside Harare. I have had only one brief and very obscured sighting of this species before (in KNP), so this flaunt was much appreciated.

Image

A most interesting aspect of the black coucal (Centropus grillii) is its polyandrous and sex-role reversed behaviour. Black coucals breed for 3–5 months during the rainy season. Females, which are 60% larger than males (by mass), engage in territorial vocalisation and defence but not in parental care. In contrast, males rarely sing or defend territories but are responsible for building and maintaining nests, incubation and care of the young. Females lay 3 clutches for different males, each in nests some distance apart. Each clutch of eggs is deposited within just 14 days of each other.

This breeding strategy results in the highest rate of extra-pair paternity reported for any classically polyandrous species with one out of three young raised being from a different father. Instances have been observed where opportunistic females deposit eggs in a nest cared for by a male with no paternal link.

The ever-accommodating males take to being cuckolded in their stride, even adopting abandoned chicks in the after care period!

The Black coucal occupies large areas of sub-Saharan Africa, preferring moist, marshy grassland, with little or no trees. In southern Africa it is scarce and localised, and is now classified as near-threatened in South Africa, due to habitat loss. It exclusively eats invertebrates, such as grasshoppers, centipedes and spiders.

Black coucals rarely fly and spend most of their time hidden in dense vegetation, another reason why sightings of them are scant.
Last edited by Johan van Rensburg on Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by arks » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:27 pm

Thanks for these fasciating details about this bird, Johan :gflower:
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hilda
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Re: Black Coucal

Unread post by hilda » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:19 pm

Stunning photo of this beautiful bird Johan! Thanks for the interesting information about the Black Coucal! :clap: :clap:
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