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Black Cuckoo | Cuculus clamosus

The Black Cuckoo is a Southern African bird that belongs to the cuculidae bird family group which includes birds such as Old World Cuckoos, Malkohas.

The description for the Black Cuckoo (Latin name Cuculus clamosus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Cuculus clamosus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 378 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 206. You will find a picture of the Black Cuckoo on page 208.

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.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Black Cuckoo between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Black Cuckoo is known in Afrikaans as Swartkoekoek.

The Black Cuckoo has a height of 31 cms and weighs around 90 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Cuculus clamosus has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Cuculus clamosus 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 black

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is black

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

The Black Cuckoo is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Cuculus clamosus 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 .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

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

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

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

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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