A large, robust cuckoo with a black body and rufous wings. The head is pure black in breeding plumage and streaked white in non-breeding plumage. Found in a wide variety of habitats, including forest, scrub, plantations, savannah, and marsh. Generally skulks in thick vegetation, anywhere from the ground to high in the canopy, though will sometimes sing from an exposed perch. “Water bottle” song is a beautiful descending series of “boop” notes. Call is a long, dry rattle. Size, shape, and dark coloration make it distinctive within its range.