The pheasant coucal is actually a cuckoo not a pheasant. It is unique among native cuckoos as it builds a nest and raises its own young. It spends most of its time on the ground as it is a very clumsy flyer. Its call sounds like ‘oop oop’ repeated over and over and increases in speed and pitch. The pheasant coucal’s diet includes small reptiles, frogs, large insects, spiders, young birds, eggs and mice.
Pheasant or cuckoo?
The Pheasant Coucal is not a pheasant but a long-tailed relative of the cuckoo, with limited powers of flight. Unlike other Australian cuckoos however, the coucal does not parasitise the nest of other birds. Instead these birds build a roofed nest with both sexes incubating the eggs and sharing the feeding duties.
Secretive ground dwellers
Usually heard rather than seen, the distinctive, hollow 'oop, oop' call is repeated many times increasing in pitch and speed. When the Pheasant Coucal is spotted, it is most commonly seen running across the ground or perched on fence posts
or dead trees.