Channel-billed Cuckoo

Scythrops novaehollandiae




Cuckoos, Roadrunners and Anis (Cuculidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Dull white with red or brown blotches.

Number of Eggs:

1 - 2

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

Nest is built in the host species nest

Nest Material:

Whatever host species nesting material is.





Channel-billed Cuckoo: Large gray cuckoo with large black-gray bill with straw-colored tip. Slate gray on back and upper wings, medium-gray on head and breast, and white-gray on belly and vent. Head with red around eye. Long, pointed wings with black spots and black trailing edge. Long tail with black and white tip. Rather short gray legs and feet. Large bill is used to pick fruit and large insects off of the foliage of tall trees. This cuckoo species also takes nestlings of other bird species.

Breeding and Nesting

Channel-billed Cuckoo: One or two eggs are laid in nests of such host species as currawongs, Australian Magpies, and crows. Eggs vary in size and shape but tend to resemble those of the host. The incubation time is unknown and carried out by the host species. The male distracts the host to help the female sneak in to the nest to lay her eggs.

Foraging and Feeding

Channel-billed Cuckoo: Feeds on fruits, especially figs, large insects, and will also prey on nestlings of other bird species. This large cuckoo mostly forages in the canopy and tall trees for fruit and other food items by picking them off of the foliage.


Channel-billed Cuckoo: Species is quite loud, emiting repeated "gaak" calls, high nasal and bubbly trumpeting calls.

Similar Species

Channel-billed Cuckoo: Unlikely to be confused with any other species in this range.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X