Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus) - HBW 4, p. 592

French: Coucal à sourcils blancs German: Weißbrauenkuckuck Spanish: Cucal Cejiblanco
Other common names: Lark-heeled Cuckoo; Burchell's Coucal (burchelli)

Taxonomy: Centropus superciliosus Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833, Arabia and Ethiopia.
The form burchelli might be recognized as a full species, although intermediates, apparent hybrids between forms with a supercilium and forms without, are known in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and N Malawi. The difference in plumage suggests that adults of N forms have retained a juvenile-like plumage (with white supercilium and brown crown and hindneck), while adults of S form burchelli have a glossy black head and neck derived from an additional terminal plumage following the streaked plumage in which some birds breed. Birds from E Zimbabwe and Mozambique to E Tanzania, named .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Centropus superciliosus Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833, Arabia and Ethiopia.
The form burchelli might be recognized as a full species, although intermediates, apparent hybrids between forms with a supercilium and forms without, are known in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and N Malawi. The difference in plumage suggests that adults of N forms have retained a juvenile-like plumage (with white supercilium and brown crown and hindneck), while adults of S form burchelli have a glossy black head and neck derived from an additional terminal plumage following the streaked plumage in which some birds breed. Birds from E Zimbabwe and Mozambique to E Tanzania, named as race fasciipygialis, are probably a variant of burchelli. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • sokotrae C. H. B. Grant, 1915 - Socotra and SW Arabia (Tihama).
  • superciliosus Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833 - E Sudan, Ethiopia and W Somalia through Kenya and NE Uganda to NE Tanzania.
  • loandae C. H. B. Grant, 1915 - Uganda, SW Kenya and Tanzania through SE Zaire, N Malawi and Zambia to Angola, Botswana and N Zimbabwe.
  • burchelli Swainson, 1838 - E Botswana through S & E Zimbabwe and S Malawi to Mozambique and E Tanzania, and S to South Africa.