The Pheasant Coucal is familiar to many in 4562

The Pheasant Coucal is familiar to many in 4562

Bird life With Tony Wellington

The Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus) is more often heard than seen. The call is a haunting, surprisingly deep “whoop, whoop, whoop” usually emanating from a dark gully or thicket. This is a bird that doesn’t like to be watched.

Pheasant Coucals are big, galumphing, decidedly clumsy birds, far better at running than flying. They are often seen around Eumundi dashing across rural roads – a case of “Why did the Pheasant Coucal cross the road?” Answer: “To get to the other gully.”

These birds have been described as having a medieval appearance; and they do sort of look like they’re in ancient battle gear.

Although it is a cuckoo, and the largest of that tribe, the Pheasant Coucal lays its eggs in its own nest and even rears its own young. So you could say it’s the black sheep of the cuckoo clan.

Tony has worked as a filmmaker, artist, author, photographer and media lecturer. He has also been a Councillor on both the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils, as well as Mayor of Noosa.