Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Blue-headed Coucal (Centropus monachus) - HBW 4, p. 591

French: Coucal à nuque bleu German: Mönchskuckuck Spanish: Cucal Monje

Taxonomy: Centropus monachus Rüppell, 1837, Kulla, northern Ethiopia.
Possible intermediates occur between present species and C. cupreicaudus, and their vocalizations are similar; on occasion treated as conspecific. Several additional races described appear invalid: form “heuglini” with a blue (not violet) head, found along large permanent swamps in Sudan, appears to represent an immature plumage of fischeri; a separate race, occidentalis, sometimes recognized for birds of Gabon, but probably indistinct from fischeri; birds from Shaba in SW Zaire, described as smaller race verheyeni, in fact overlap in size with .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Centropus monachus Rüppell, 1837, Kulla, northern Ethiopia.
Possible intermediates occur between present species and C. cupreicaudus, and their vocalizations are similar; on occasion treated as conspecific. Several additional races described appear invalid: form “heuglini” with a blue (not violet) head, found along large permanent swamps in Sudan, appears to represent an immature plumage of fischeri; a separate race, occidentalis, sometimes recognized for birds of Gabon, but probably indistinct from fischeri; birds from Shaba in SW Zaire, described as smaller race verheyeni, in fact overlap in size with fischeri. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • fischeri Reichenow, 1887 - Ivory Coast and Ghana through S Nigeria, S Cameroon, Gabon, N Angola and Zaire to S Sudan, NW Tanzania and highlands of Ethiopia and W Kenya.
  • monachus Rüppell, 1837 - Ethiopia to C Kenya.