Sub-adult Greater Coucal

posted in: Morphology-Develop. | 3

Desmond Wong’s a.k.a des95446 image of a sub-adult Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis) shows the transitional plumage form. A juvenile has a head that is dull black with brown spots. And this is still apparent in this sub-adult. The wings of the juvenile have blackish bars but the bars have disappeared in this specimen. Again, the brownish bars of the tail feathers have all disappeared and the colour has changed from brown to black. Obviously moulting into an adult plumage has yet to be completed.

The image was taken at Janda Baik in the Malaysian state of Pahang in early October 2009.

According to Desmond, “I saw this sub-adult Greater Coucal trying to swallow a huge centipede. I was still in the car at that point in time. Did not manage to get out fast enough to set up my gear. Only managed to get a shot after it swallowed the centipede. Shot it hand-holding the 500mm.”

Image by Desmond Wong.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.


3 Responses

  1. Hi,

    I just spotted a Greater Coucal in my backyard today, at the edge of the Mac Ritchie Reserve. It had red eyes though…

  2. Can it be an Asian Kole?

  3. Thanks for a great description of a juvenile coucal above.

    I dont know how to go about posting to this forum but I posted to my blog yesterday about the behaviour of two coucals who regularly visit our garden these days :


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