Fun African Emerald Cuckoo Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun African Emerald Cuckoo Facts For Kids

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As a bird of the Cuculidae genus, the African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus), more commonly known as the emerald cuckoo, is a bird hailing from the Sub-Saharan African regions of Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and many others. It is an Old World cuckoo with three subspecies in its taxonomy. The emerald cuckoo is widely distributed in Africa. The bird prefers eating insects as well as fruits as they are omnivorous in nature. 

African emerald cuckoos (Chrysococcyx cupreus) face no immediate threats to their species and are flourishing in their habitats.

If you enjoy reading about birds then check out our black-billed cuckoo facts and black cuckoo facts.  

Fun African Emerald Cuckoo Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?

19-25 eggs

How much do they weigh?

1.2 oz (35 g)

How long are they?

8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Green plumage, bright yellow abdomen

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Savannahs, Suburban Areas, Light And Densely Wooded Forests


Sub-saharan Africa









African Emerald Cuckoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an African emerald cuckoo?

The African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) is a type of bird, native to the African continent from the Cuculidae family.

What class of animal does an African emerald cuckoo belong to?

The African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) belongs to the Aves class of animals from the Cuculidae family under the genus Chrysococcyx. 

How many African emerald cuckoos are there in the world?

The current population count of African emerald cuckoos (Chrysococcyx cupreus) is estimated to be about 7.1 million with no immediate decline in its population trend. 

Where does an African emerald cuckoo live?

Endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, the African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) is found in the forests of Botswana, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Zambia, Uganda, Togo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Gambia, Gabon, Kenya, Senegal, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Sao-Tomé and Principe, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. 

What is an African emerald cuckoo's habitat?

The preferred habitats of an African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) consist of light to densely wooded forests filled with mopane trees, suburban areas like gardens, parks, and vacated buildings, lowland areas, evergreen, and riparian forests, and even savannahs with lush an average range of vegetation. The bird has a bright green plumage that helps them to camouflage in the foliage of densely packed forest where they are usually foraging in the upper and middle canopies. 

Who do African emerald cuckoos live with?

The African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) is a solitary species, similar to other cuckoos. They prefer living alone than with a flock and are usually alone, but are seen in pairs during the breeding season.

How long does an African emerald cuckoo live?

The average life expectancy of an African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) is estimated to be about 5-10 years. 

How do they reproduce?

African emerald cuckoos (Chrysococcyx cupreus) are well-known for being territorial brood parasites who do not build their own nests but steal other birds' nests during the breeding season. They specifically use the nests of the yellow whiskered bulbul, puff back shrike, rainbow bee-eaters, white-starred robin, and black-throated wattles. The egg-laying season occurs from October-January where the female lays a single egg in each host nest with a total of 19-25 eggs in consecutive nests.

The female skillfully places her eggs in the birds' nest when the parents are not home or just forces them in while the other bird is busy incubating. After these birds hatch, they push other chicks and eggs out of the nest within two days to showcase their territorial behavior and leave after 22 days. The African emerald cuckoo bird eggs are white in color.

What is their conservation status?

With a thriving distribution in sub-Saharan Africa, the African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) species currently does not have any major threats to its existence as a result of which, it is placed under the Least concern category of animals in the IUCN red list. 

African Emerald Cuckoo Fun Facts

What do African emerald cuckoos look like?

The African emerald cuckoo prefers staying amongst the lush vegetation in order to remain hidden.

The African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) is a medium-sized bird with a slim and short bill and orange-brown eyes.  Being sexually dimorphic, the male birds possess an excellent metallic green plumage with a pale yellow lower abdomen and breast. The feathers in its tails have white tips whereas, its female counterparts are brown in the upper portion and are barred with white and green color in the lower part. Due to its striking green plumage, the cuckoo can disguise itself brilliantly among trees and is rarely seen than heard. 

How cute are they?

African emerald cuckoos (Chrysococcyx cupreus) are more on the beautiful side rather than being cute as they have this striking green plumage that decorates the species quite well with its surroundings. Though their babies are undoubtedly cute! 

How do they communicate?

African emerald cuckoos (Chrysococcyx cupreus) are not social creatures and emit a clear four-note call often identified as a four-note whistle by the mnemonic device of 'hello ju-dy'. The African emerald cuckoo calling is more like a whistle than a call. They usually let it out whenever they have territorial issues or are mating during the breeding season. 

How big is an African emerald cuckoo?

The average length of an African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) can be estimated to be about 8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm). 

How fast can an African emerald cuckoo fly?

The average speed of flight of an African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) can be estimated within the range of 26.09 mph (42 kph)

How much does an African emerald cuckoo weigh?

The average weight of an African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) is around 1.2 oz (35 g).  

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) can be referred to as a cock and hen respectively.

What would you call a baby African emerald cuckoo?

The African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) babies are called chicks. 

What do they eat?

African emerald cuckoos (Chrysococcyx cupreus) are omnivorous in nature so they eat both insects and fruits. Their diet includes insects like grasshoppers, army ants, caterpillars, and butterflies while they love eating fruits like wild peaches and similar other foods found around their habitats.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, being non-sociable creatures, African emerald cuckoos (Chrysococcyx cupreus) are vicious. They do not like to be around others and hate socializing along with being quite territorial where they will protect nesting grounds by attacking any intruder. 

Would they make a good pet?

No, African emerald cuckoos (Chrysococcyx cupreus) are wild animals who deserve to be in the wild in their preferred habitats. These species are illegal to own as pets and do not do well with people for their aggressive behavior and unsociable attitude. 

Did you know...

In Africa, the African emerald cuckoo call stands for different meanings. In the Zigula language, it is rendered as ziwkulwa tuoge, meaning 'let's go and bathe' while in Zulu, the same call is known as ubantwanyana, meaning 'little children'.

How many eggs do African emerald cuckoos lay?

The African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) lays a single egg in every host nest that eventually leads to a total number of 19-25 eggs in various other stolen nests during their egg-laying period. They steal other species' nests, occupy them, and push the original occupant's eggs out in order to lay their own.  

How many species of cuckoo are there?

There are a total of 60 arboreal members of the Cuculidae family which are more commonly known as Cuckoos.

These birds, including the African cuckoo, are distributed in a wide distribution of habitats, from tropical to temperate regions, and differ in length and color but largely possess similar attributes to their parent family. Most of them are migratory in nature and short-winged. Among the 47 species of the Cuculidae family subspecies resemble hawks depending on their appearance and behavior. The non-parasitic birds occur mainly in the North American region with the widespread yellow-billed and black-billed cuckoos being a good example. The other 12 species placed in the family genera of Squirrel and Lizard cuckoos come from Central and South America. A total of nine genera is present for the division of the 13 Old World Phaenicophaeinae species. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including magpie fun facts and hawk interesting facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable African emerald cuckoo coloring pages.

Main image by Charles James Sharp.

Second image by Bram ter Keurs.

Nena Singha
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Nena Singha

<p>Nena is a content writer adept at crafting creative, commercial, and technical content for a wide range of projects. Her ability to generate innovative ideas, coupled with her meticulous research and adherence to SEO guidelines, ensures that her work leaves a lasting impact. She takes pleasure in sharing her knowledge and experience to help others enhance their writing skills. While not immersed in her projects, Nena finds joy in exploring the captivating world of manga and anime. With a Bachelor's degree in Geography/Earth Sciences from Gurucharan College, Nena brings a unique interdisciplinary approach to her writing.</p>

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