Grey-bellied Cuckoo

Grey-bellied Cuckoo  Cacomantis passerines


  • Cacomantis : kakosill-boding; mantis prophet . {prophet of evil} .
    These cuckoos were regarded as prophets of doom by the superstitious Javanese because
    they were heard calling from burial grounds at night.
  • Passerines : Latin word for Sparrow like

Vernacular Names: Pun: Chota papiha, Guj: Nani rakhodi koyal, Mar: Pousya, Karunya Kokil Ta: Kuyil, Te: Chinna katte pitta, Mal: Cherukuyil, Sinh: Koha, Hindi: Pavas Kuku

Distribution in India: Resident of Peninsular India, winter visitor in Kerala, summer visitor in North and Central India.

Description: Size of 23-25 cm. Adult is dark grey above, lightly glossed green, tail blackish with white tip; chin to breast is dark grey, belly and under tail-coverts whitish or grey; eye ring blackish to grey, iris red to brown, some with yellowish outer circle, bill brown or blackish above, yellow below, feet yellow. Female like male, but abdomen barred whitish and retrices more barred. It also occurs in rufous morph , bright rufous above, barred with black or dark grey-brown, sometimes with white streak above and below eye, plain rufous tail except black subterminal band, throat and breast also rufous, rest of underparts dark-barred whitish.

Habitat: It is found in open woodland (including subtropical pine forest in Pakistan), secondary forest, scrubby hillsides, brushy areas, grassy plains, swamps, and cultivated areas such as tea plantations with shade trees, gardens

Food Habits: They eat caterpillars, especially hairy species which is shaken intensely in the bill prior to consumption, and other soft-bodied insects. Forages either on ground, or sallies for flying insects.

Breeding Habits:  They breed in Apr–Jun in Eastern parts of India and Aug-Oct in Nilgiris .They are brood-parasitic: hosts mainly warbler species with closed nests with narrow entrance like Ashy Prinia, Common Tailorbird and Zitting Cisticola.