A dark, rather sturdy cuckoo of scrubby habitats, reedbeds, forest edge, and agricultural areas. Adults black with bright chestnut wings and fine silvery streaking on neck and shoulders. Immatures a grayish brown above, paler below, with dull chestnut wings and a brown-and-black barred tail. Similar to Greater Coucal but significantly smaller, with a dark (instead of red) eye and duller chestnut back and wings with silver streaks. Song is a distinctive series of sharp notes, with the crescendo cadence of a bouncing ball.