The white-browed coucal is a species of cuckoo in the Cuculidae family. It is found in sub-Saharan Africa. It inhabits areas with thick cover afforded by rank undergrowth and scrub, including in suitable coastal regions.
The southern subspecies is sometimes split as Burchell's coucal, Centropus burchelli named after the British naturalist William John Burchell. This common resident to southern Africa is usually solitary or in pairs and prefers clambering through the riverine or coastal bush. It is more often heard than it is seen, when it does fly, the flight is ponderous and ends with a long glide to the next bush.
According to popular Southern African lore, this species' distinctive call, which resembles water pouring from a bottle, is said to signal impending rainfall, earning the bird the affectionate moniker rainbird.
Common names include: Gewone Vleilourie in Afrikaans; umGugwane in Zulu.
Between September and February a large matted nest is normally made in a thorn tree and usually 4 white eggs are laid and hatch out after 14 to 18 days. Both parents feed the nestlings for another three weeks.
The Burchell's coucal is predatory, stalking through thick bush and eating insects (including Orthoptera) , snails, amphibians (frogs and toads), reptiles (including lizards and chameleons) and birds up to the size of a Laughing dove.