a comprehensive resource of avian hand rearing techniques for captive bird populations

White-browed Coucal

Centropus superciliosus

Cuculiformes - Cuculidae - Cuckoos & roadrunners

White-browed Coucal - Wild Adult

© Dave Edgington

White-browed Coucal - Wild AdultWhite-browed Coucal - ChickWhite-browed Coucal - Juvenile

Distribution: Arabia, Ethiopia, through to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Habitat: Dense bush and moist vegetation.

Diet: Mostly insects, mainly grasshoppers, crickets, locusts & beetles, also lizards, frogs, mice and small birds.

Breeding: Pairs are monogamous and nest in large untidy dome structure with a side entrance, built from grass and twigs, lined with leaves, usually in reeds or bush.

Clutch size: Three to five white eggs.

Incubation: Mainly by the male for a period of 14-15 days.

Rearing: The young are fed by both sexes. Chicks emit a foul smelling black cloacal liquid when disturbed.

Fledge age: 18-20days, chicks are barely able to fly and mostly creep about waiting for adults to feed


Protocol from Cotswold Wildlife Park

View Cotswold Wildlife Park protocol file >

Protocol established 2008
Used on 14 individuals
Success rate 78.57%


Protocol used for at least 5 individuals with over 75% success*
Used by 2 or more institutions 
Points on minimizing imprinting 
Birds went on to produce fertile eggs*
Birds went on to successfully parent rear 

Warning points

Please keep us up-to-date and contact us with your own updates or new protocols for rearing the White-browed Coucal.


Del Hoya, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (1997). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol4. Sandgrouse to Cukoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

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