The Black-hooded Coucal

Centropus steerii

A Black-hooded Coucal in Sablayan, Mindoro. Photographed by Paul Noakes on June 2009.

The Black-hooded Coucal is named after its glossy black head that forms a dark hood over its brown plumage. Its song is composed of five to eight deep woop notes given in a descending series. Its song makes it a bit easier to detect in the wild despite its dark appearance. Hear it here! It can only be found on the island of Mindoro1.

The Black-hooded Coucal can only be found on the Philippine island of Mindoro.

It favors rainforest with dense vegetation, vine-covered shrubs, and bamboo. But at the current rate of deforestation on Mindoro it is believed that all forest on the island may disappear by 2020-2030. The IUCN has deemed the Black-hooded Coucal critically endangered with population estimates under 400 total living on the island2.

Conservation efforts… by prison inmates!

Along with the Mindoro Bleeding-heart, the Black-hooded Coucal has been protected by conservation efforts made in collaboration between BirdLife International and Sablayan Prison, a penal colony located by crucial forest habitats of the Black-hooded Coucal. The penal colony established forest protection and restoration within the boundaries of the penal colony3. But additional research and conservation efforts outside of the area still need to be made.

How you can help

The following organizations contribute not only to the conservation of this particular species, but to the diverse range of birds found in the Philippines.

The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

Established in 2003, The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines is the pioneer bird watching club in the nation dedicated to promoting bird watching as a hobby and as a responsible way of enjoying the Philippines' most coveted natural habitats. The volunteer-led club contributes to the conservation of Philippine endangered birds by promoting bird watching as a healthy and recreational practice, encouraging responsible behavior from local communities and tourists alike, as well as environmentally-responsible policies from local governments and officials.

The Haribon Foundation

Started in 1972, Haribon, named after the Philippine Eagle's name in Filipino for "Bird King", gave birth to the Philippine environmental movement. Eventually coupling itself with international conservation organizations such as BirdLife International and the World Wildlife Fund, Haribon has contributed greatly not only to help establish conservation reserves and parks for Philippine birds and other species domestically, but to publications that put the Philippines on the map internationally in regards to its unique but endangered bird populations.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation

Since 1987 the Philippine Eagle Foundation has been focused on saving the Philippine Eagle and consequently saving hundreds of other species that live within its forest realms in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. With the help of donors and grants, the foundation conducts research, rehabilitation, and captive breeding programs.

Help endangered birds worldwide

BirdLife International is the world's largest partnership of conservation organizations. 117 organizations make up this partnership in over 100 countries across the globe, including the Philippine's own Haribon Foundation. Together, they create bird mascots and flagships to help push for the conservation of endangered birds, consequently conserving the forests they reside and the other wildlife in these areas. By doing so they conserve biodiversity in these areas to improve the quality of people's lives and integrating bird conservation into sustaining people's livelihoods. A symbiotic relationship is then created between people and the environment, as opposed to the "one uses the other" practice that is currently established the world over.

< View all birds

*This site is not affiliated with the "Angry Birds" game, Rovio, or Jaakko Iisalo, and is for educational purposes only. Learn more about the illustrator here. If you find any errors please let me know!


1. Birdlife species factsheet on the Black-hooded Coucal.

2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Centropus steerii (Black-hooded Coucal).

3. From the "Species Guardian Action Update: November 2011" for the Mindoro Bleeding-heart and the Black-hooded Coucal, by Birdlife International. PDF.