Channel-billed Cuckoo
Sounds & Calls

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae)

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae)

The loud, raucous calls of the Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) sound like they came straight out of the Jurassic period! They are the world’s largest species of cuckoo and have a voice to match. The primeval squawks of the Channel-billed Cuckoo are commonly heard in the forests and woodlands of northern and eastern Australia in the spring and summer months. This species can also be encountered in urban parks and gardens where there are fruiting trees such as Moreton Bag Figs (Ficus macrophylla).

Channel-billed Cuckoos migrate south from New Guinea to Australia to breed. This species is sometimes colloquially referred to as the ‘Storm Bird’ [Note: Pacific Koels (Eudynamys orientalis) are also sometimes referred to as storm birds!].

Listen to Channel-billed Cuckoo Sounds

The video below contains two call types of the Channel-billed Cuckoo and the audio samples underneath the video feature additional examples:
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Channel-billed Cuckoo – Typical song


 XC150468 This first sample features the typical raucous squawking song of the Channel-billed Cuckoo. This sample was recorded at night at around 1:30am in Dharug National Park, NSW, Australia.

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Channel-billed Cuckoo – Rapid Piping Call and Squawks


XC295302 This sample starts with rapid piping notes which lead into the typical song. Towards the end of this cut there are some cackling calls. Recorded in Chaelundi National Park, NSW, Australia.