Jacobin Cuckoo

Jacobin Cuckoo  Clamator jacobinus


  • Clamator : Latin word for Shouter derived from clamare to shout.
  • Jacobinus : The pied birds ( Black & white) look likes the clocks of Jacobian friars.

Vernacular names: Hindi: Papiya, Kala papiya, Chatak, Kash: Hor kuk, Pun: Barsati papiha, Ben: Kala bulbul, Shah bulbul, Guj: Chatak, Mothido, Mar: Chatak, Ta: Konda kuyil, Te: Gola kokila, Mal: Erattathalachi kuyil, Sinh: Konda koha

Distribution in India: Resident of Peninsular India, widespread summer visitor in other parts of India.

Description: Size of 31–34 cm; wt. of 66 g. Adult glossy black above with black crest, white patch on black wings and white tips to black tail; white below; iris is brown, bill is black, feet are slate-grey. Both sexes look similar. The juvenile is brown to sooty black above, whitish below with fulvous or grey on breast, tail spots buff (not white); eyering yellow. Races differ in plumage and size: jacobinus smaller, pica larger, both unstreaked below

Habitat: It is found in Open woodland and scrub, dry thorn savanna, thorny jungle, plains.

Food Habits:  They eat caterpillars, especially hairy species which is shaken intensely in the bill prior to consumption and other soft-bodied insect .Feeds mainly in trees and bushes, also descends to ground and hops in search of food.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Jun- Aug in Northern parts of India and Jan-March in Nilgiris .In the breeding season, birds call from prominent perches and chase each other with slow wing-beats and pigeon like clapping flight. Courtship feeding happens to select a mate. The species is a brood parasite the host is mainly species of babblers. The colour of the eggs matches those of the host, typically turquoise blue. Eggs are laid hurriedly in the morning into the nest of the host often dropped from while the bird perches on the rim of the nest and over the host eggs often resulting in the cracking of one or more host eggs. The males distract the host while the female lays the egg. Multiple eggs may be laid in the nest of a host.