Green-billed coucal

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Green-billed coucal
Green-billed coucal.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Centropus
Species: C. chlororhynchos
Binomial name
Centropus chlororhynchos
Blyth, 1849

Centropus chlororhynchus

The green-billed coucal (Centropus chlororhynchos) [2] is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes the roadrunners, the anis, and the cuckoos.

It is endemic to Sri Lanka. The green-billed coucal is a rare and shy species of the tall rainforests of southwest Sri Lanka. It nests in a bush, and the typical clutch is 2–3 eggs.

This is a medium to large species at 43 cm. Its head and body are purple-black, the wings are maroon above and black below, and the long tail is dark green. The bill is a distinctive light green. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller and streaked.

The green-billed coucal takes a wide range of insects, caterpillars and small vertebrates, but snails are a favourite. It occasionally eats other food items.

This species is somewhat smaller and less contrasted than the more widespread greater coucal. Despite its size and distinctive call, this is a difficult species to see because of the dense habitat in which it lives and its retiring nature.

This coucal has a small and declining population as a result of the forest destruction.

In culture[edit]

In Sri Lanka, this bird is known as bata atti-kukula – or, wal atti-kukula in the Sinhala language.[3] This bird appears in a 20 rupee Sri Lankan postal stamp.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International. (2016). Centropus chlororhynchos. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22684257A93021858.en
  2. ^ Wijesinghe, Martin (1999). "Nesting of Green-billed Coucals Centropus chlororhynchos in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka" (PDF). Forktail. 15: 43–45. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-08-28. 
  3. ^ Anonymous (1998). "Vernacular Names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent" (PDF). Buceros. 3 (1): 53–109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Bird stamps from Sri Lanka.

External links[edit]