The White-browed Coucals (Centropus superciliosus) is a species of cuckoo that is found in sub-Saharan Africa – its range stretches from South of the Congo forests, through southwest to north-eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), then through South Sudan, Ethiopia and West Somalia. In Kenya, it is the most common of the coucals – although it is less common or absent from the more arid regions.
The southern subspecies is sometimes split as Burchell’s Coucal, Centropus burchelli.
Calls / Vocalizations
According to popular Southern African lore, this species’ distinctive call, which resembles water pouring from a bottle, is said to signal impending rainfall, earning the bird the name “Rainbird.”
It is about 16″ or 410mm in long and has a striking plumage, with a broad, yellowish-white supercilliary stripe, which is a unique feature amongst other coucals within its range.
Its habit of skulking in shubbery, undergrowth and dense waterside vegetation makes it difficult to spot.
Diet / Feeding
It has a wide diet consisting mostly of insects, but it will also take young birds and eggs.
Breeding / Nesting
The White-browed Coucals is non-parasitic (they raise their own young). The males construct a nest, they then incubate the eggs and provide most of the feeding and care for the young.