Pheasant Coucal (species: Centropus (Centropus) phasianinus) in Koreelah NP (Gaia Guide)
Centropus (Centropus) phasianinus
Pheasant Coucal

©Charlie: Pheasant Coucal (Centropus (Centropus) phasianinus)

©Charlie: Pheasant Coucal (Centropus (Centropus) phasianinus)

©Tom Tarrant: Pheasant Coucal (Centropus (Centropus) phasianinus)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Cuculiformes
Family Centropodidae
Genus Centropus
Species Centropus (Centropus) phasianinus
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

It is a large heavy-set bird adapted for living on the ground, reminiscent of a pheasant in shape. Birds in breeding plumage have black heads, necks, breasts and bellies, barred chestnut wings and long black, brown and cream barred tails. Outside the breeding season, their black head and underparts moult to a white-streaked chestnut colour. (Wikipedia)


  • From 50 cm to 80 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Up to 75 cm



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is found in eastern and northern Australia, from the New South Wales south coast north to Cape York, and across the top of Australia to the Pilbara, as well as eastern Timor and lowland New Guinea.

The preferred habitat has dense understory as a component, typically shrubby understory in forest, or tall grasses in grassland or swampy areas, as well as sugar cane in cane plantations and patches of weedy vegetation such as blackberry or lantana. (Wikipedia)


It is unusual among Australian cuckoos in that it incubates and raises its own young instead of laying its eggs in the nest of another species. (Wikipedia)


Predominantly carnivorous, it eats small reptiles and amphibians, bird eggs and young, small mammals and large insects. (Wikipedia)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (1996). Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Fifth Edition Penguin Books, Australia.