17 Amaze-wing Facts About The Greater Coucal For Kids

Here are greater coucal facts about these birds of the world

Greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) is a non-parasitic large bird that is found along with a range of habitats. The range of habitats for greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) spans across India, Southern China, and as far as Malaysia. As these large birds have long black tails, they are often confused with a pheasant as a pheasant also has a long tail. In terms of appearance, the black color body with rusty wings resembles a cross-breed between pheasants and crows. This member of the family of cuckoos is a slow and weak flyer, making it an easy target for predators and hunters. Another distinctive feature of these birds is their deep resonant calls.

These birds are also known as Centropus sinensis, common coucal, and crow pheasant. Here are some of the most interesting facts about this cuckoo subspecies for your perusal. Afterward, do check our other articles on Pesquet's parrot facts and ptarmigan facts as well.

Greater coucal

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, caterpillars, snails, and small vertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-4 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.49-0.88 lb (225-400 g)

How long are they?

18-20 in (45- 50 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Chestnut or bronze-colored wings, brown mantle and wings, long and heavy black tail, long bill, deep red eyes, black-purple head

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Habitat loss, hunting, pet trade, predators

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Grasslands, second growth, dense forest edges, marshes, mangroves


South-east Asia (India, Southern China, Malaysia)





Scientific Name

Centropus sinensis





Greater Coucal Interesting Facts

What type of animal is greater coucal?

The greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) is a type of bird species that is medium in size and has a look that resembles that of the crows. This is the reason that this bird species is also known as a crow pheasant. The diet of this member of the cuckoo family features both fruits and insects.

What class of animal does greater coucal belong to?

The greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) pheasant belongs to the class of birds which is medium in size and resembles a crow with its black color body. This large bird species from the family Cuculidae is spread across a wide habitat range comprising India, southern China, and Malaysia.

How many greater coucal are there in the world?

There is no accurate or rough number so as to how many greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) birds are there in the world. The number of greater coucals keeps changing according to different factors which determine their lifespan and life cycle. Therefore, the number of the greater coucal birds keeps on changing across the widespread habitat based on various subspecies.

Where does greater coucal live?

This large bird species from order Cuculiformes prefers to live in the grasslands and the second growth as well as in the forest edges. The crow pheasants also prefer to live near cultivated areas and water sources. These birds with a deep resonant call are found in different parts of the world.

What is a greater coucal's habitat?

The greater coucal’s (order Cuculiformes) habitat range includes grasslands and the second growth as well as in the forest edges. The habitat range of these birds from family Cuculidae comprises mangroves, marshes, as well as gardens. These cuckoos are said to live in different parts of the world.

Who do greater coucal live with?

Greater coucals are monogamous birds from order cuculiformes and live in pairs with their partner only during the breeding season. This species is native to their widespread habitat range in south-east Asia.

How long does greater coucal live?

The lifespan of the greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) species is not mentioned. The lifespan of this species depends on different factors which determine their lifecycle.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season of greater coucals (Centropus sinensis) starts after the monsoon season in southern India but can differ in different regions of the habitat. These birds are monogamous in terms of breeding habits. There is an extensive courtship display during the breeding season where the male chases the female around and also gift her food. If the female is willing to mate, she will lower her tail and give her consent to the male. After the mating process is completed, the female lays two to four eggs in the nest.  

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of greater coucals (centropus sinensis) is that of Least Concern as per the description in IUCN Red List as their population is stable.

Greater Coucal Fun Facts

What do greater coucal look like?

Greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) is a bird that has a resemblance just like that of a crow. It is a cross between a crow and a pheasant. The bird is largely black in color and has distinctive wings that are rusty in color, and long and black tail that is heavy, and deep red eyes. Juvenile greater coucals are much dull in color with white bars that are there on their tail and also underparts and some variable amount of black streaks on the wings and upper part of the body.

Greater coucal has black and brown wings with a black colored long tail.

How cute are they?

Greater coucal, or crow pheasant, can be cute in their appearance because of their beautiful colors. This member of the cuckoo family also has a rather intimidating appearance as well.

How do they communicate?

Greater coucals communicate with each other with the help of various sounds which are low-pitched. The communication takes place with the help of different sounds that are done by them.

How big is a greater coucal?

Greater coucals are medium in size and are 18-20 in (45-50 cm) in length, while the greater coucal juveniles are smaller. This species does not grow much in height as compared to the other species of birds. They are about the same size as a hooded crow.

How fast can a greater coucal fly?

Greater coucals cannot fly fast because of their heavy wing beats. The flight of the greater coucal is weak, slow, and clumsy as well which makes it difficult for them to fly fast. Therefore, greater coucals do not fly fast in the flight.

How much does a greater coucal weigh?

Greater coucals weigh around 0.49-0.88 lb (225-400 g) according to their body size and body structure. Juveniles of greater coucals are significantly smaller in size. They are slightly heavier than a fish crow.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific or particular name for the male and the female species of greater coucal. They are known as greater coucals only.

What would you call a baby greater coucal?

Baby greater coucal are called juveniles.

What do they eat?

Greater coucals feed on a variety of food sources such as insects, caterpillars, snails, and small vertebrates with their long bill. They also feed on bird eggs, nestlings, fruits, and seeds. Their diet includes a variety of foods, depending on their range of habitats.

Are they dangerous?

No, greater coucals are not dangerous in nature unless and until they feel threatened.

Would they make a good pet?

No, greater coucals do not make good pets.

Did you know...

The greater coucal is a bird that makes deep resonant calls to the other birds which bring good omen in many parts of its range. The greater coucal is called Bharadwaj in Hindu and is a widespread resident bird. Seeing greater coucal is known as a good omen for Hindus.

Is it a good omen to see greater coucal?

Yes, it is a good omen when you see greater coucal because people think it is a messenger of good fortune.

Are greater coucal migratory?

The bird is a resident in its range and only some of the populations are locally migratory. These birds are not endemic and have a rather widespread range of habitat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Indian runner duck facts or junco facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable greater coucal coloring pages.



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