Pittas, Cuckoos

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Andaman Coucal

Total Photos: 2

The Andaman coucal is a species of non-parasitic cuckoo found in the Andamans, Coco and Table Islands. It is common in forests and in disturbed areas including gardens, forest and edge, mangroves, edges of paddy fields.

Structurally, it closely resembles the Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis), except that its plumage is a fawn brown as opposed to the black with bluish-purple sheen seen in C. sinensis. It has a chestnut rear mantle and wings and the head is pale tawny brown. The mantle and breast grade from pale to dark brown on the belly and vent. The iris is pale brown. The tail is a pale brown at the base and dark violet-brown towards the tip. The tail feathers have conspicuous black shafts. The juvenile shows slight barring on the body, especially on the underside.

The song is much like that of the greater coucal, consisting of a long series of very deep and resonant hoop notes. The notes however rise abruptly in pitch. It is also known to produce chuckling and grating calls. Feeds on all kinds of insects, small frogs, crabs and lizards.

Asian Koel

Total Photos: 3

The Asian Koel is a member of the cuckoo order of birds. Asian Koel is found in South Asia, China, and Southeast Asia. It forms a superspecies with the closely related Black-billed and Pacific Koels. The Asian Koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows and other hosts, who raise its young. They are unusual among the cuckoos in being largely frugivorous as adults. The name koel is echoic in origin and the bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.

The Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo, 45 cm in length. The male is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but is heavily striped. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak.

Asian Koel are very vocal; with a range of different calls during the breeding season which starts in March and ends in August.

They are used as reference in various myth, folklore and poetry being familiar for its loud call. The song of the bird is heard on Traditional New year celebration of Sri Lankans since they believe that it has a strong association with their upcoming year.

Bay-breasted Cuckoo

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Black-billed Cuckoo

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Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo

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Cocos Cuckoo

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Common Cuckoo

Total Photos: 1

The Common Cuckoo is a widespread summer migrant to Europe and Asia, and winters in Africa. It is a brood parasite, which means it lays eggs in the nests of other bird species.

All adult males are slate-grey; the grey throat extends well down the bird's breast with a sharp demarcation to the barred underparts. The iris, orbital ring, the base of the bill and feet are yellow. Grey adult females have a pinkish-buff or buff background to the barring and neck sides, and sometimes small rufous spots on the median and greater coverts and the outer webs of the secondary feathers.

Common Hawk-cuckoo

Total Photos: 3

The common hawk-cuckoo, popularly known as the brainfever bird, is a medium-sized cuckoo resident in the Indian subcontinent. 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 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.

The common hawk-cuckoo is a medium- to large-sized cuckoo, about the size of a pigeon (ca. 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. Subadults have the breast streaked, similar to the immature shikra, and there are large brown chevron marks on the belly.

Crow Pheasant

Total Photos: 3

The Crow Pheasant is a large non-parasitic member of the cuckoo order of birds. A widespread resident in Asia, from India, east to south China and Indonesia. They are large, crow-like with a long tail and coppery brown wings and found in wide range of habitats from jungle to cultivation and urban gardens. They are weak fliers, and are often seen clambering about in vegetation or walking on the ground as they forage for insects, eggs and nestlings of other birds. They have a familiar deep resonant call which is associated with omens in many parts of its range.

This is a large species of cuckoo at 50 cm. The head is black, upper mantle and underside are black glossed with purple. The back and wings are chestnut brown. There are no pale shaft streaks on the coverts. The eyes are ruby red. Juveniles are duller black with spots on the crown and there are whitish bars on the underside and tail. The race of the Assam and Bangladesh region is smaller than the race found in the sub-Himalayan zone. Songs of the races are said to vary considerably. Race of southern India has a black head and the underparts glossed blue and has the forehead, face and throat more brownish. The male and female are similar in plumage but females are slightly larger.

The Crow Pheasant is a large bird which takes a wide range of insects, caterpillars and small vertebrates even snakes. They are also known to eat bird eggs, nestlings, fruits and seeds.

They sunbathe in the mornings singly OR in pairs on the top of vegetation with their wings spread out. They are most active in the warm hours of the morning and in the late afternoon.

Dark-billed Cuckoo

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Great Lizard-Cuckoo

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Greater Ani

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Greater Roadrunner

Total Photos: 1

The Greater Roadrunner is a long-legged bird in the cuckoo family. It is one of the two species in the roadrunner; the other is the Lesser Roadrunner.

The roadrunner is about 60 cm long and weighs about 300 gm, and is the largest North American cuckoo. The adult has a bushy crest and long thick dark bill. It has a long dark tail, a dark head and back, and is blue on the front of the neck and on the belly. Roadrunners have four toes on each foot; two face forward, and two face backward.

The name roadrunner comes from the bird's habit of racing down roads in front of moving vehicles and then darting to safety in the brush.

Grey-bellied Cuckoo

Total Photos: 3

The grey-bellied cuckoo is a smallish cuckoo at 23 cm. Adults are mainly grey with a white lower belly and undertail. The wings have a white patch on them. Some female are of the hepatic form, which is dark-barred reddish brown above with an unbarred tail, and has strongly dark-barred whitish underparts. The juvenile is a duller greyer version of the female.The grey-bellied cuckoo takes a variety of insects and caterpillars. It is a brood parasite, and lays its single egg in the nests of warblers.

Groove-billed Ani

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Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo

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Indian Pitta

Total Photos: 1

It inhabits scrub jungle, deciduous and dense evergreen forest. Breeding in the forests of the Himalayas, hills of central and western India, they migrate to other parts of the peninsula in winter. Although very colourful, they are usually shy and hidden in the undergrowth where the hop and pick insects on the forest floor. They have a distinctive two note whistling call which may be heard at dawn and dusk.

The Indian pitta is a small stubby-tailed bird that is mostly seen on the floor of forests or under dense undergrowth, foraging on insects in leaf litter. It has long, strong legs, a very short tail and stout bill, with a buff coloured crown stripe, black coronal stripes, a thick black eye stripe and white throat and neck. The upperparts are green, with a blue tail, the underparts buff, with bright red on the lower belly and vent.

Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoo

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Large Hawk-cuckoo

Total Photos: 1

They call in summer and the calling goes on well after dusk. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Found as a vagrant on Christmas Island. Its natural habitats are temperate forests and subtropical or tropical mangrove forests.

Lesser Ground-Cuckoo

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Lesser Roadrunner

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Little Cuckoo

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Mangrove Cuckoo

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Pearly-breasted Cuckoo

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Pheasant Cuckoo

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Pied Crested Cuckoo

Total Photos: 1

The Pied Crested Cuckoo is a member of cuckoo order of birds that is found in Africa and Asia. It is partially migratory and in India, it has been considered a harbinger of the Monsoon rains due to the timing of its arrival.

It has been associated with a bird in Indian mythology and poetry, known as the "chatak" and represented as a bird with a beak on its head that waits for rains to quench its thirst.

This medium sized, slim black and white cuckoo with a crest is distinctive. The white wing patch on the black wing and the pattern make it unmistakable even in flight.

Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo

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Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo

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Sirkeer Malkoha

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It is mainly earthy brown and rufous in colour, and the long heavy tail is edged with prominently white tipped graduated cross-rayed tail feathers. An obvious relation of the coucal (crow pheasant). Bill is hooked, bright cherry-red and yellow. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller and barred above.

Smooth-billed Ani

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Squirrel Cuckoo

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Striped Cuckoo

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Yellow-billed Cuckoo

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