Species Details

@MSH Sourav (TU Dresden, Germany);

Common Hawk Cuckoo Did you see this animal?

Scientific Name : Hierococcyx varius
Family : Cuculidae
Order : Cuculiformes
Class : Aves
Phylum : Chordata
Habitat : Villages
Description : The Common Hawk-Cuckoo is a sleek, grey bird with a long, barred tail (adult bird length approximately 34 cm, weight 100 g, wing 20 cm, bill 2.8 cm, tarsus 2.3 cm, tail 17 cm). It looks grey from above and rufous-white from below. It feeds on caterpillars, cutworms, grasshoppers, locusts, flying termites and spiders. It occasionally takes small lizards and fruits. Its flight consists of rapid wing strokes alternated with gliding like a hawk. It breeds in March-June. The arboreal species under discussion follows a fascinating reproductive strategy. It lays a solitary egg in each nest, carefully mimicking the coloration of the host's eggs, which are usually blue. Once the egg hatches, an intriguing behavior ensues. The hatchling takes on an aggressive role, evicting the eggs belonging to the host species from the nest. This ensures that the parasitic chick receives exclusive attention and resources from the unsuspecting foster parents.

This particular species prefers to dwell in arboreal habitats, such as garden lands, groves of trees, and both deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. It exhibits a remarkable tendency to stay off the ground, rarely descending from its lofty abode. The foster parents diligently rear the parasitic chick for an extended period, approximately a month, during which the young bird closely follows its caregivers in their daily activities.

In summary, this arboreal species employs clever mimicry, usurps the nest of its host, and relies on foster parents for its development and survival, showcasing its unique adaptations in various habitats ranging from gardens to forests.
Distribution in Bangladesh
description written by:Fatema-Tuz-Zohora,Department of Zoology, Jagannath University,Dhaka;information source: Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh, Vol-26, iucnredlist.org;Photo credit and copyright:MSH Sourav (TU Dresden, Germany);taxonomic checklist:P. M. Thompson and S. U. Chowdhury (2020). A checklist of birds of Bangladesh.Birds Bangladesh;bird song owner:Sagar Adhurya(www.xeno-canto.org/Sagar Adhurya), bird sound copyright reserved according to www.xeno-canto.org rules; more information, please contact us.