Common Hawk Cuckoo   Hierococcyx varius


  • Hierococcyx :  Greek word hierax- hawk ;  kokkux –cuckoo.
  • Varius : Latin word Various, Diverse

Vernacular Names:  Hindi: Kapak, Upak, Samanya Papiha, Pun: Papiha, Bi: Bharao, Ben: Chokgallo, Ass: Keteki sorai, Guj: Bappaiyo, Mar: Pavshaa, Ta: Akka/Thambi kuruvi, Kusil, Te: Kutti pitta, Mal: Shikra kuyil, Kan: Boodu kogile, Sinh: Koha

Distribution in India: Widespread Resident other than Rajasthan, Gujrat & Himalayas

Description:  Size of 33-34 cm; wt. of 104 g. The adult is ashy brownish grey above, paler on head, tail with 3–5 whitish and black bars and light rufous tip; white below, with pale rufous breast and bars on abdomen and flanks; eye-ring pale grey, iris yellow, bill yellowish above and greenish below, feet yellow.

Habitat:  It is found in wooded country, in deciduous and semi-evergreen forests, gardens, groves of cultivated trees, in both plains and hill country.

Food Habits:  They eat Insects like caterpillars and cutworms, also grasshoppers, locusts, winged termites, ants and reptiles like lizards .They also eat fruits of wild banyan fig, berries. They are arboreal and secretive forager.

Breeding Habits:  They breed in Mar–Jul .They are brood-parasitic. Their hosts are Babblers and Laughingthrushes . They lay 2 eggs. Young on hatching evicts host’s chicks