Pallid Cuckoo

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Pallid Cuckoo, Cacomantis pallidus, are a medium sized bird measuring at 28cm to 33cm. It is a long slender cuckoo, with upper parts of the body being a brownish/grey, under parts light grey, a tail barred white, yellow eye rings, white on the upper edge of the wing and a white spot on the nape (back of the head). Juveniles are heavily mottled and streaked dark brown and white.

Feeding Habits

Feeds on hairy caterpillars and insects, mainly taken on the ground.


A parasitic nester in that it lays one egg in another bird’s nests and allows the other bird to hatch the egg and raise the chick. The chick then pushes the other eggs or young chicks from the nest. The open nests of honeyeaters and flycatchers are the preferred targets.

Places to Look

Prefers open country where it perches on high, dead branches. The long looping flight brings it to attention.


Habitat loss that affects its food source and the nesting habits of host species that it uses for breeding.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

Pallid Cuckoo © Birdlife Townsville 2008

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