The ground cuckoo-shrike (Coracina maxima) is an uncommon bird species endemic to Australia, occurring mainly in open woodland and arid grasslands throughout inland Australia, but also occasionally in areas on the east coast.
The ground cuckoo-shrike is a slender, long-legged bird, the largest of the cuckoo-shrikes measuring 33–37 cm in length, and weighing approximately 115 g. It was named cuckoo-shrike not because it is affiliated with either the cuckoo or the shrike, but because of the similar features that it has to both these birds. The stout, hooked shrike-like beak and plumage which is similar to that of the cuckoo are the reason for its name.
The adult bird possesses a pale grey head and upper body, with pale yellow eyes. Its lower back, rump and underparts are white and finely barred with black, contrasting with the black wings and the slightly forked black tail. This forked tail is a characteristic specific to the ground cuckoo-shrike. The immature ground cuckoo-shrike is similar in appearance to the adult, but has fine, broken black barrings on the throat and upper parts and dark eyes with a dark eye-line, instead of a black mask with pale yellow eyes. The flight call of this bird is a distinctive pee-ew, pee-ew or chill-chill….kee-lik, keelick. Due to the colouration of the ground cuckoo-shrike, when in flight they can look quite black-and-white and so may be mistaken for an Australian magpie.