Confusing Coracinas

You could easily be fooled into thinking that this black-faced Cuckoo-shrike was indeed a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike!

It’s actually a smaller relative – the Little (or White-bellied) Cuckoo-shrike Coracina papuensis. This species comes in a couple of colour variations (morphs), both of which can be found around Newstead. The typical form lacks the black face and upper breast, instead having a narrow black band around the eye and largely grey underparts. Click here for some images.


Little Cuckoo-shrike (dark morph), Loddon River at Newstead, 12th June 2016.

There are a couple of distinctive identifying features – firstly the bill is much smaller in this species when compared with its larger relative, also the delicate barred patterning on the breast. Little Cuckoo-shrikes are supposedly migratory, but can be seen locally throughout the year – it’s possible that they are not the same individuals.

One response to “Confusing Coracinas

  1. well I learn something everyday from your posts. Thanks ❤

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