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Common Hawk-Cuckoo
Common Hawk-Cuckoo

One afternoon after our safari as we drove towards Rann Riders, we could hear Shikra calling and thought of parking the gypsy in one side and follow the call.. All of a sudden, we sall this chap flying from a mango tree and perching on the wire. Apologies for the subject not on the natural perch but this happens to be my first sighting of this beauty. I hope to get this one on a natural perch some day... :)

The Common Hawk-Cuckoo, popularly known as the Brainfever bird, is a medium sized cuckoo resident in South Asia. It bears a close resemblance to the Shikra, a sparrow hawk, even in its style of flying and landing on a perch. The resemblance to hawks gives this group the generic name of hawk-cuckoo and like many other cuckoos these are brood parasites, laying their eggs in nests of babblers. During their breeding season in summer males produce loud, repetitive three note calls.

The Common Hawk-Cuckoo is a medium to large sized cuckoo, about the size of a pigeon (34 cm). The plumage is ashy grey above; whitish below, cross-barred with brown. The tail is broadly barred. The sexes are alike. They have a distinctive yellow eye ring. At first glance they can be mistaken for a hawk. When flying they use a flap and glide style that resembles that of sparrowhawks (especially the Shikra) and flying upwards and landing on a perch they shake their tails from side to side. Many small and birds and squirrels raise alarm just as they would in the presence of a hawk. The sexes are alike but males tend to be larger.

They can be confused with the Large Hawk-Cuckoo, which however has dark streaks on the throat and breast. Young birds have a pale chin but young Large Hawk-Cuckoos have a black chin.

During summer months, before the monsoons, the males are easily detected by their repeated calls but can be difficult to spot. Its breeding season is March to June, coinciding with that of some of the babblers. A single egg is laid in each nest, blue, like that of the host (babbler).

The call of this bird has been popularly transcribed as brain-fever in English. The Brainfever Bird's call may be heard all through the day, starting early before dawn and frequently during moonlit nights.

Disclamer: This photograph is taken in the natural habitat. Incase if anybody needs the copy of this picture, please contact me. © All Rights Reserved by Yogesh Rane (www.junglebook.co.in / www.yogeshrane.com)

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 RSS  Disclaimer : This photograph is taken in the natural habitat. Incase if anybody needs the copy of this picture, please contact me. All Rights Reserved by Yogesh Rane (www.junglebook.co.in / www.yogeshrane.com)