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Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo)
Photo by SeeToh
Former Bidadari Cemetery, Singapore, November 2013

Alternative Name: Whistling Hawk-cuckoo

Hierococcyx nisicolor

Cuculus nisicolor


28-30 cm.

  • Slate-grey upperparts with brownish wings
  • Grey and black banded tail with broad black subterminal bar and rufous tip
  • Penultimate dark tail-band is narrowest
  • White moustache and supraloral area
  • Whitish underparts with pale rufous-brown streaks
  • Yellow eye-ring
  • Small yellow bill with black tip

Sexes similar. Juveniles with buff edged feathers, tail with a broad white tip and streaked and spotted black below.


Breeds from Nepal to the eastern Himalayas and Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and Hainan (China).
Winters south to Sumatra, Java and Borneo.
Rare in Nepal, uncommon in the rest of its range.

Photo by kctsang
Singapore, December 2008


This is a monotypic species.[1]
It was formerly considered conspecific with Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo, Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo and Northern Hawk-Cuckoo.
Some authorities view Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo as belonging to genus Cuculus.


Found in deciduous semi-evergreen and evergreen forest. Also in secondary forest, bamboo thickets and plantations. Breeds from 600 to 1800m in India, up to 1000m in Burma.



Feeds on insects, mainly caterpillars. Takes also fruits and berries.
Forages in bushes and understorey.


Breeding season apparently from June to September. A brood parasitic. Known host species in India are Lesser Shortwing and Small Niltava.


A migratory species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221

Recommended Citation

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