The characteristic three-note call during summer indicates this cuckoo's presence; otherwise it is very difficult to locate as it sits motionless in thick canopy foliage. The chestnut breast is diagnostic.
Juvenile has black instead of rufous breast and is generally black above, with the white lower breast and belly heavilly barred with black. Unlike juvenile African and common cuckoos, the head, throat and upper breast are black, not barred.
Forests, exotic plantations, mature woodland and suburban gardens.
Male utters a loud, often-repeated 'weet-weet-weeoo'; female gives a shrill 'pipipipipi'.