Lesser Coucal

Lesser Coucal  Centropus bengalensis


  • Centropus : Greek word kentron – spur, spike; pous – foot. { Spiked foot}
  • Bengalensis : From Bengal in India

Vernacular Names: Ben: Chhoto-kuko, Ass: Ulu kukuha, Lepcha: Nyong, Bhutia: Kyok-kyok, Mal: Vari uppan, Hindi: Chota Muhuk

Distribution in India: Resident of lower Himalayas, East, North East and South West of India

Description: Size of 32-33 cm. Adult black above and below, often with pale streaking, wings pale rufous brown, tail glossy black narrowly tipped whitish, iris red to brown, bill black, legs black. Non-breeding plumage barred brown above, rufous-white with dusky bars below. The female is larger. The juvenile is dark brown above, all barred light rufous, streaked rufous on head and back, shaft-streaks are buffy white, whitish buff below with paler shaft-streaks, belly is barred, undertail is buff-barred black, iris is brown.

Habitat: It is found in Tall grass, reed beds, swamps and marshlands, bamboo thickets, second-growth forest, open-country scrub and cultivation.Food Habits It is eats Insects, like grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, mantids, beetles, hairy caterpillars, also spiders, lizards and fruit. Forages mostly on ground.

Breeding Habits: They breed in May-June. The nest is built by both sexes. The nest is domed and oval-shaped, with lateral entrance hole, of twigs, grass and leaves, lined with green leaves, near ground in dense vegetation. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs.