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Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae), also called a large cuckoo-shrike, is a bird common to the Indian subcontinent (except Pakistan and NW India), Australia and the Solomon Islands. It has a protected status in Australia, under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974.

This species is widely distributed throughout virtually any wooded habitat throughout the area, with the one exception being rainforest habitats. But they can also occur in urban areas.

They have a prominent black face and throat, gray plumage, white underparts and a somewhat hooked bill. The size varies between 32 cm and 34 cm. They are slow-moving, inconspicuous birds, with a shrill, screaming call, sounding like “creearck”

Favorite prey includes insects, their larvae, caterpillars or other invertebrates. These may be caught in flight, or caught when searching through the foliage. In addition, some fruits and seeds are also eaten.

Breeding season lasts from August to February each year. Both partners build the rather small nest. The fledglings leave the nest after about three weeks of hatching. They resemble the adult except for the black facial mask which is reduced to an eye stripe.

Outside the breeding season, they like to flock in groups of up to a hundred birds. Some may be partially migratory or may remain in the same territory. Lack of significant differences between regional populations in Australia makes it difficult to determine where populations move in winter.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike


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