Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Channel-billed Cuckoo

Scythrops novaehollandiae


The Channel-billed Cuckoo is the world's largest cuckoo, measuring between 58–66 cm (23–26 in) long and weighing between 550–930 g (19–33 oz). These birds are brood parasites; instead of raising their own young, they lay eggs in the nests of other birds. The host species varies depending on the location; the most commonly targeted hosts are ravens, currawongs, butcherbirds and Australian Magpies.


The Channel-billed Cuckoo is found in tall open forests, usually where host species occur. This one was spotted in the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney. They migrate to northern and eastern Australia from New Guinea and Indonesia between August and October each year, and leave Australia in February or March.


I must say they are not a welcomed guest in your yard during nesting season. The young birds have a loud, monotonous squawk... and they keep it up constantly. As beautiful as they are, it's enough to drive you mad!

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Neil Ross
Neil Ross 11 years ago

Hey Mark. They are beautiful birds. Just have to find a way to shut them up! This is the only decent photo I have. Overcast day and the photo way very grainy, but at least you can see how beautiful it is.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 11 years ago

Nice spotting Neil. I still haven't seen these in the flesh. :(

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Spotted on Feb 27, 2012
Submitted on May 29, 2013

Related Spottings

Channel-billed Cuckoo Channel-Billed Cuckoo Channel-billed Cuckoo Channel-Billed Cuckoo

Nearby Spottings

Spotting Eastern Water Skink (in Sydney's NW) Blue Skimmer Dragonfly (male) Red Arrow (male)
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team