Pheasant Coucal

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Habitat: Woodland, Forest, Wetland, Urban


The Pheasant Coucal prefers dense understorey vegetation, particularly grasses, rushes, bracken and sedges, in open forests and woodlands, and around wetlands. Often found in sugar cane plantations near wetlands, on farmlands with thick grasses and weed-infested thickets, such as Lantana. Often seen in parks, gardens and along roads or railway lines.


The Pheasant Coucal is the only Australian cuckoo to build its own nest. It also lives and nests on the ground, unlike other cuckoos.


The Pheasant Coucal feeds on the ground on large insects, frogs, lizards, eggs, young of birds, and sometimes small mammals.


Pheasant Coucals form lasting pairs and, unlike other Australian cuckoos, build their own nests and raise their young themselves. The nest is usually hidden in thick grass or sugar cane or in weedy thickets and is a platform of sticks, grass or rushes, lined with leaves and grasses. The male usually incubates the eggs and feeds the young, with the female helping with feeding. More than one clutch can be laid in one season.