Common Hawk-Cuckoo

Common hawk-cuckoo, Photo: Masud Mushfiq Zaman

চোখগ্যালো / পিউকাহা / দর্জি আখা (গারো)

Hierococcyx varius (Vahl, 1797)

রাজ্য / Kingdom: Animalia
বর্গ / Order: Cuculiformes
পরিবার / Family: Cuculidae
গন / Genus: Hierococcyx
প্রজাতি / Species: H. varius

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It is a medium- to large-sized cuckoo, about the size of a pigeon. The plumage is ashy grey above; whitish below, cross-barred with brown. The tail is broadly barred. There is distinct black bars on tail and fine rufous bars on belly and flanks of its body. It has yellow iris and eye-ring. It has yellowish gray bill and yellow legs.

Voice: During their breeding season in summer males produce loud, repetitive three note calls that are well-rendered as brain-fever, the second note being longer and higher pitched. These notes rise to a crescendo before ending abruptly and repeat after a few minutes; the calling may go on through the day, well after dusk and before dawn.

Habits: Like many other cuckoos, this species is a brood parasite, preferring babblers mainly in the genus Turdoides (possibly the only host) and also reportedly on laughing-thrushes of the genus Garrulax. It is diurnal and crepuscular occurring solitary or in pairs.

Food habit: Feeds mainly on catarpillars, but also on insects.

Distribution: The common hawk-cuckoo occurs in most of the Indian subcontinent, from Pakistan in the west, across the Himalayas foothills, east to Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh and south into Sri Lanka.


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