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Red-chested Cuckoo | Cuculus solitarius

The Red-chested 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 Red-chested Cuckoo (Latin name Cuculus solitarius) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Cuculus solitarius can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 377 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 205. You will find a picture of the Red-chested 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 Red-chested Cuckoo between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Red-chested Cuckoo is known in Afrikaans as Piet-my-vrou.

The Red-chested Cuckoo has a height of 30 cms and weighs around 75 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Cuculus solitarius has a grey coloured throat, yellow legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Cuculus solitarius 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 grey

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are yellow

Throat is grey

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

The Red-chested Cuckoo is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Cuculus solitarius 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 Red-chested 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 Red-chested 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 Red-chested 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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