Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo

Common name
Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo
Scientific name
Chalcites  basalis
Size – beak to tail
14 – 17 cm
Wing span
Birds of the Bluff
Page 27
Where to find
Forests and woodlands, particularly dry forests and grasslands with scattered dead trees. Also saltmarsh.
Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo has an olive-brown back, with incomplete pale stripes across chest and a brown stripe on the face. If you have binoculars, you can note the bronze-green sheen on the wings, a white eyebrow and rufous coloured outer tail feathers.

In late winter and spring, the call of the Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo can be heard as the bird sits perched near the top of a tree. The call is a repeated note with a descending inflection. Like other cuckoos, females lay a single egg in the nest of the host. Males have a call described as “see-you, see-you” with a downward slur. Some birds overwinter. They feed mainly on insects and their larvae, especially hairy caterpillars.