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Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Campephagidae
Vigors, 1825
  • Pteropodocys
  • Coracina
  • Campochaera
  • Lalage
  • Lobotos
  • Campephaga
  • Pericrocotus
  • Hemipus

The cuckoo-shrikes, the Campephagidae family are small to medium-sized passerine bird species found in the subtropical and tropical Africa, Asia and Australasia. The 84 species are found in eight (or nine) genera which comprise five distinct groups, the 'true' cuckoo-shrikes (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).

Cuckoo-shrikes are neither closely related to the cuckoos or shrikes, the name probably comes from the grey colour of many of the cuckoo-shrikes. 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. They are in fact thought by some to be closely related to the Old World orioles (Oriolidae), although they differ strongly in some morphological characteristics (such as skull morphology and the arrangements of feathers on the wing).

Overall the cuckoo-shrikes are medium to small arboreal birds, generally long and slender. They are predominately greyish with white and black, although the minivets are brightly coloured in red, yellow and black, and the Blue Cuckoo-shrike of central Africa is all-over glossy blue. The four cuckoo-shrikes 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.

Of the 84 species of cuckoo-shrike, the majority are forest birds. Some species are restricted to primary forest, like the New Caledonian Cuckoo-shrike, others are able to use more disturbed forest. Around eleven species use much more open habitat, one Australian species, the Ground Cuckoo-shrike being found in open plains and scrubland with few trees.

The 'true' cuckoo-shrikes 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 extremely vocal.

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. About four blotchy white, green or blue eggs are laid in a cup nest in a tree. Incubation is about two weeks.

Species of Campephagidae

  • Ground Cuckoo-shrike, Pteropodocys maxima
    Large Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina macei
    Sunda Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina larvata
    Javan Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina javensis
    Slaty Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina schistacea
    Wallacean Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina personata
    Melanesian Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina caledonica
    Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina novaehollandiae
    Stout-billed Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina caeruleogrisea
    Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina striata
    Pied Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina bicolor
    Moluccan Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina atriceps
    Buru Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina fortis
    Cerulean Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina temminckii
    Yellow-eyed Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina lineata
    Boyer's Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina boyeri
    White-rumped Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina leucopygia
    White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina papuensis
    Hooded Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina longicauda
    Halmahera Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina parvula
    Pygmy Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina abbotti
    New Caledonian Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina analis
    White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina pectoralis
    Blue Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina azurea
    Gray Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina caesia
    Grauer's Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina graueri
    Ashy Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina cinerea
    Mauritius Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina typica
    Reunion Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina newtoni
    Cicadabird, Coracina tenuirostris
    Blackish Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina coerulescens
    Sumba Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina dohertyi
    Sula Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina sula
    Kai Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina dispar
    Black-bibbed Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina mindanensis
    Sulawesi Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina morio
    Pale-grey Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina ceramensis
    Papuan Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina incerta
    Gray-headed Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina schisticeps
    New Guinea Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina melas
    Black-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina montana
    Solomon Islands Cuckoo-shrike, oracina holopolia
    McGregor's Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina mcgregori
    Indochinese Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina polioptera
    White-winged Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina ostenta
    Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina melaschistos
    Lesser Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina fimbriata
    Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina melanoptera
    Golden Cuckoo-shrike, Campochaera sloetii
    Black-and-white Triller, Lalage melanoleuca
    Pied Triller, Lalage nigra
    White-rumped Triller, Lalage leucopygialis
    White-shouldered Triller, Lalage sueurii
    White-winged Triller, Lalage tricolor
    Rufous-bellied Triller, Lalage aurea
    White-browed Triller, Lalage moesta
    Varied Triller, Lalage leucomela
    Black-browed Triller, Lalage atrovirens
    Samoan Triller, Lalage sharpei
    Polynesian Triller, Lalage maculosa
    Long-tailed Triller, Lalage leucopyga
    Petit's Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga petiti
    Black Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga flava
    Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga phoenicea
    Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga quiscalina
    Western Wattled Cuckoo-shrike, Lobotos lobata
    Eastern Wattled Cuckoo-shrike, Lobotos oriolina
    Rosy Minivet, Pericrocotus roseus
    Brown-rumped Minivet, Pericrocotus cantonensis
    Ashy Minivet, Pericrocotus divaricatus
    Small Minivet, Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
    Ryukyu Minivet, Pericrocotus tegimae
    Fiery Minivet, Pericrocotus igneus
    Flores Minivet, Pericrocotus lansbergei
    White-bellied Minivet, Pericrocotus erythropygius
    Long-tailed Minivet, Pericrocotus ethologus
    Short-billed Minivet, Pericrocotus brevirostris
    Sunda Minivet, Pericrocotus miniatus
    Scarlet Minivet, Pericrocotus flammeus
    Gray-chinned Minivet, Pericrocotus solaris
    Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Hemipus picatus
    Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Hemipus hirundinaceus


  • del Hoyo. J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume Ten, Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes, ISBN 84-87334-72-5

External links

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| Ptilonorhynchidae
| Turnagridae
| Vangidae
| Vireonidae

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