Verreaux's Coua

Scientific Name
Coua verreauxi
Conservation Status
Near Threatened (NT)

Recent Nearby Sightings

Range Map

Wikipedia Article

Verreaux's Coua (Coua verreauxi) is a species of cuckoo in the Cuculidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. According to a BBC documentary, it is found only near a salt lake in the southern part of the island. The lake is 16 km long but only a couple of metres deep. The area has been drying out for the last 40,000 years and the organisms living here have become adapted to conserve water. The bird's name commemorates French ornithologist and collector Jules Verreaux. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. The birds are found in southern part of the spiny forest zone. They live in coastal euphorbia scrub, and are most active at dawn and dusk. Birders listen for its descending series of loud contact calls, "corick-corick-corick-corick". A sympatric species is the Crested Coua, C. cristata. The bird forages for invertebrates among trees and bushes and on the ground. It also eats Cassia fruit. It occurs from sea-level to 100 m. Breeding my occur in November. Verreaux's coua is threatened by habitat loss. The habitat is threatened by cutting of wood to make charcoal. Such destruction is widespread, especially along roads and near towns.
The species is described thus: "A small, greyish arboreal coua. Overall mid-grey, whitish on lower breast and belly, and darker on flight-feathers. Tail dark greyish, long and tipped whitish on outer feathers. Head with long, dark-tipped crest, pale blue bare skin around eye and black bill."