(48) Cicadabirds and Cuckooshrikes.
Golden Cuckooshrike, Campochaera
Genus Lobotos, Now Genus Campephaga
Genus Pteropodocys, Now Genus
Genus Hemipus, Flycatcher-shrikes
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Hemipus picatus
Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Hemipus hirundinaceus
Genus Tephrodornis, Wood-shrikes, now Prionopidae
Genus Chlamydochaera, now Turdidae
|The cuckooshrikes and allies in the Campephagidae
family are small to medium-sized passerine bird species found
in the subtropical and tropical Africa, Asia and Australasia.
The roughly 85 species are found in eight (or nine) genera
which comprise five distinct groups, the 'true' cuckooshrikes
(Campephaga, Coracina, Lobotos, Pteropodocys
and Campochaera) the trillers (Lalage), the minivets
(Pericrocotus), the flycatcher-shrikes (Hemipus).
The wood-shrikes (Tephrodornis) were often considered to
be in this family but are probably closer to the helmetshrikes
or bushshrikes. Another genus, Chlamydochaera, which has
one species, the Black-breasted
Fruithunter was often placed in this family but has now been shown
to be a thrush (Turdidae).
Cuckooshrikes are closely related neither to the cuckoos
nor to the shrikes; the name probably comes from the
grey colour of many of the cuckooshrikes. Some of the species
also bear a superficial resemblance to cuckoos,
and have a similar undulating flight. The grey colouration has
led to one of their other names, the greybird. In some
parts of the world they have also been known as caterpillar-birds,
a name derived from their diet.
Overall the cuckooshrikes are medium to small arboreal birds,
generally long and slender. The smallest species is the
Small Minivet at 16 cm and 6-12 grams, while the largest is the
South Melanesian Cuckooshrike at 35 cm and 180
grams. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although
the minivets are brightly coloured in red, yellow
and black, and the Blue Cuckooshrike of central Africa is all-over
glossy blue. The four cuckooshrikes in the genus
Campephaga exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males that have
glossy black plumage and bright red or yellow wattles
, the females having more subdued olive-green plumage. The genus
Coracina is not monophyletic.
Of the 84 species of cuckooshrike, the majority are forest birds.
Some species are restricted to primary forest, like
the New Caledonian Cuckooshrike, others are able to use more disturbed
forest. Around eleven species use much
more open habitat, one Australian species, the Ground Cuckooshrike
being found in open plains and scrubland with
The 'true' cuckooshrikes are usually found singly, in pairs, and
in small family groups, whereas the minivets,
flycatcher-shrikes and wood-shrikes more frequently form small
flocks. There is a considerable amount of variation
within the family as a whole with regards to calls, some call
very infrequently and some, principally the minivets, are
These are mainly insectivorous, and will take large hairy caterpillars.
They have also been recorded eating small
vertebrates, and some fruit, seeds and other plant matter.
Information about the breeding of this family is incomplete, with
many species having never been studied. In all the
species studied the cuckooshrikes are territorial; in species
that do not migrate
these territories are maintained year
round. Cuckooshrikes are monogamous, with the pair bonds apparently
lasting throughout the year Several species
of cuckooshrike exhibit cooperative breeding. About four blotchy
white, green or blue eggs are laid in a cup nest
in a tree. Incubation is about two weeks.
(48) Cicadabirds and Cuckooshrikes
|New Caledonian Cuckoo-shrike
|(South) Melanesian Cuckoo-shrike
|Solomon Islands Cuckoo-shrike
|New Guinea Cuckoo-shrike
Cuckooshrike, Coracina ostenta
Cuckooshrike, Coracina ostenta, is a species of bird
in the Campephagidae family.
It is endemic to the Philippines.
Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical
moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montanes.
It is threatened by habitat loss
This species is listed as Vulnerable because it is undergoing
a rapid and continuing population decline as a result of
extensive forest loss at
low to mid-altitudes within its range.
Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina ostenta
Identification 25 cm. Canopy-dwelling, black-and-white
passerine. Male has black head and upper breast, forming
dark hood. Dark grey back and rump, black wings with white wing-patch
across greater coverts and tertials.
Black tail with white tips to outer tail feathers. Dark grey
breast and belly, white undertail-coverts.
Dark bill, iris and legs. Female similar to male although head
grey (lacks black hood) and underparts paler.
Similar spp. Barred Cuckoo-shrike C. striata larger and lacks
white in wing. Voice Loud, sharp whistles tseeuu,
sometimes running together to form jangled phrase. Hints Joins
mixed feeding flocks. Tends to stay in the canopy.
Population estimate: 10,000-19,999
Population trend: decreasing
Range estimate (breeding/resident): 23,500 km2
Coracina ostenta is endemic to the Western Visayas
in the Philippines, where it is known from Panay, Negros and
Guimaras. Formerly widespread on Negros, it is now restricted
to seven known localities, although it is still locally
common. It appears much scarcer on Panay, where there are recent
records from just three localities in the west.
It is presumed extinct on Guimaras, where it has not been recorded
for over a century. Given that Panay and Negros
are largely deforested
in the lowlands, it is inferred that it occupies a small, fragmented
Text from BirdLife International
(2010) Species factsheet: Coracina ostenta.
Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 7/10/2010
Cuckooshrike, Coracina newtoni
Cuckooshrike, Coracina newtoni
Photo: © http://animaladay.blogspot.com/2011/06/reunion-cuckooshrike.html
|The Reunion Cuckooshrike, Coracina newtoni, is 22 cm.
Greyish arboreal bird. Male overall dark grey with paler
underparts, especially on flanks and vent. Dark face imparts masked
effect. Tail tipped white. Female dark brown
above with very obvious, narrow white eyebrow-stripe and pale,
finely barred underparts. Voice Shrill and clear
whistled tui tui tui. Female gives harsh shrek alarm note. Hints
Quiet, inconspicuous bird, particularly when feeding,
occurring either singly or in pairs.
The bird is endemic to Réunion,
and restricted to two very small areas in the north-west (Plaine
d'Affouches and Plaine des Chicots). The population was estimated
at 120 pairs after surveys in 1991, suggesting that numbers had
been stable since 1974.
Males are thought to now outnumber females by two to one, and
in 2007 there were thought to be as few as 25
breeding pairs, but there are early indications that predator
control is proving successful, with an increase in female
survival and improved breeding success.
It has been conjectured that it primarily occupied lowland forest
in the past. The species now occurs between 1,000
and 1,800 m asl, and is strictly associated with closed-canopy
natural forest, occurring in mixed evergreen
subtropical forest that also often includes areas of heath Philippia
montana and tamarin Acacia heterophylla.
Nest predation by black rats Rattus rattus, and to a lesser
extent brown rats, Rattus norvegicus, and feral cats
appears to be the primary reason for poor reproductive success;
and it is possible that this explains the skewed sex
ratio. The dropping of litter in the Roche Ecrite
Nature Reserve by visitors inadvertedly supports
of the rat population.
BirdLife International (2012) Species factsheet: Coracina newtoni.
Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/05/2012.