Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Calls & Song

Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)

The Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis) is a medium-sized cuckoo found in Australia’s east, far south west and in Tasmania. They are also found in parts of New Guinea and on a number of Pacific islands. 

The most commonly heard call of the Fan-tailed Cuckoo is the ‘peeeer’ descending trill. This simple trilled song is a common sound of spring and summer within the breeding range of this species. They also make a few other calls including soft mournful ‘p-whee’ whistles, often when another bird is nearby. Female Fan-tailed Cuckoos make loud, shrill ‘chireee’ calls, sometimes in response to the call of a male. Although Fan-tailed Cuckoos call most frequently in the breeding season, they can also be heard at other times in the year and even at night.

Listen to Fan-tailed Cuckoo Sounds

The audio below features the typical trill song and p-wheee calls of a Fan-tailed Cuckoo. Recorded in Mummel Gulf National Park, New South Wales, Australia.


Fan-tailed Cuckoo – Trill song

XC674005 Two birds making the typical trilled song. Recorded in the Leven River valley, Tasmania.


Fan-tailed Cuckoo – ‘P-wheee’ calls

XC140206 The mournful ‘p-wheee’ calls, often given when two birds are in close proximity. Recorded at Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, New South Wales.


Fan-tailed Cuckoo – Female ‘chi-ree’ call

XC204467 This sample starts with a female ‘chi-reee’ call and is followed by a few trills, likely from a nearby male. Recorded in Liffey Forest Reserve, Tasmania.

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