Cuckoo Finch | Anomalospiza imberbis

Robert's Birding Information: Cuckoo Finch

The Cuckoo Finch is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Viduidae bird family group which includes birds such as Whydahs, Indigobirds, Cuckoo Finch.

The description for the Cuckoo Finch (Latin name Anomalospiza imberbis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anomalospiza imberbis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 820 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1081. You will find a picture of the Cuckoo Finch on page 1009.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

Neither the Latin nor the English name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Cuckoo Finch is known in Afrikaans as Koekoekvink.

The Cuckoo Finch has a height of 13 cms and weighs around 20 gms. The head is coloured yellow while the bill is coloured brown. The Anomalospiza imberbis has a white coloured throat, brown legs and a yellow coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Anomalospiza imberbis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is yellow.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is brown.

Legs are brown.

Throat is white.

Back is yellow.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Cuckoo Finch Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Anomalospiza imberbis attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Cuckoo Finch Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Cuckoo Finch does not built its own nest but rather invades the nest of other birds. If the bird does not find an empty nest it will attack the host (original nest owner) and displace it.

The Cuckoo Finch is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is found in the African bushveld.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Cuckoo Finch is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.