Grey-bellied Cuckoo

Grey-bellied Cuckoo also called Indian Plaintive Cuckoo is found near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat. (Please wait for a few seconds while the photos load onto the gallery. This may depend on your internet speed)

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Scientific Name : Cacomantis passerinus
Classification :
Kingdom  : Animalia
Phylum     : Chordata
Class          : Aves
Order         : Cuculiformes
Family       : Cuculidae
Genus        : Cacomantis
Species      : C. passerinus

How to identify this bird:

  • The Grey-bellied Cuckoo is a slim bird about 23 cms long.
  • It is an arboreal bird (it lives on trees).
  • It is dark grey above and whitish below with grey chin and throat.
  • It has a white tipped black tail.
  • It has black wings which has a white patch on the underside which can be seen when the bird flies.
  • The female is similar but sometimes it is ‘hepatic’ i.e., the underparts are whitish with dark barring and upper parts are bright rufous coloured. The crown and nape are only sparsely barred and the rufous tail is unbarred.
  • The juvenile is either grey with pale barring on underparts or similar to hepatic female or intermediate.
  • Its song is very clear and makes a pee-pipee-pee-…pipee-pee whistle with the pitch ascending as if asking a question to you. Normally sings while on the tree-top.

Where do I find this bird:

  • You can find the Grey-bellied Cuckoo on trees which have thick foliage (lots of leaves) along the roadside and the fields. They generally sit  on the branches inside but sometimes come onto the tree-top and start singing.
  • As mentioned earlier it is an arboreal bird and lives on trees.
  • It is found alone and generally found solitarily.
  • It has a hawk like flight.
  • It is an insectivorous bird and feeds on insects, caterpillars, plant bugs etc.
  • It lays its eggs in the nests of birds like Ashy Prinias or Tailorbirds because its eggs are similar in colour and markings.

Local Names:
Gujarati : Nani rakhodi koyal
Marathi : Pousya
Tamil     : Kuyil
Telugu   : Chinna katte pitta