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Pallid cuckoo

Cacomantis pallidus


The Pallid Cuckoo is identified by its grey plumage, which is darker on the wings and back, and its broadly barred black and white undertail. The bill is brown, the legs and feet are grey-brown, and there is a bright yellow ring around the eye. It is a large, slender cuckoo and is somewhat hawk-like in appearance during flight. Young Pallid Cuckoos are mottled with brown and buff above, with a white spot on the nape, and are streaked with grey-brown and white below. As with other species of cuckoo, its call often betrays its presence long before it is seen.


The Pallid Cuckoo inhabits most open forests and woodlands, as well as cleared and cultivated open country. The Pallid Cuckoo is the most widely distributed of the cuckoos and is found throughout Australia.


This cuckoo sits on the powerline behind our house and calls repetitively all day, day after day. It gets a bit tiresome.

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lori.tas 12 years ago

I'm glad others would love to hear him. Most days we get the pallid and the fan-tail cuckoo both going at the same time. Well into the evenings.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 12 years ago

Great spot lori.
I have always wanted to see/hear one of these in the wild but no luck yet. Might have to jump on the ferry.

lori.tas 12 years ago

I'll box him up and ship him to you Alice. ;) We have several cuckoos here, and I suppose this fellow's dove-like trills are the least piercing. At least I finally got a decent photo of him. He tends to sit on the line so he's back-lighted.

alicelongmartin 12 years ago

I would love to keep him at my house for awhile and give you a rest!

Spotted by

Tasmania, Australia

Spotted on Dec 2, 2011
Submitted on Dec 2, 2011

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