Large Hawk-cuckoo
04 58 007 cuculus sparverioides sparverioides
Hierococcyx sparverioides sparverioides
Range Asia along the Himalayas extending to East Asia. Many populations winter further south.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Cuculiformes
Family Cuculidae
Genus Hierococcyx
Species Hierococcyx sparverioides
Conservation Status
Least Concern
The Large hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx sparverioides), is a species of cuckoo in the Cuculidae family. It has a wide breeding distribution from temperate Asia along the Himalayas extending to East Asia. Many populations winter further south. They are known for their loud and repetitive calls which are similar to that of the common hawk-cuckoo but do not rise in crescendo. They are also somewhat larger and adults can be readily told apart from the smaller common hawk-cuckoo by the black patch on the chin. They are brood parasites of babblers and laughingthrushes.


It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Found as a vagrant on Christmas Island. The subspecies H. s. bocki of the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo is usually considered a separate species, the dark hawk-cuckoo.


Its natural habitats are temperate forests and subtropical or tropical mangrove forests.


They call in summer and calling goes on well after dusk. In their winter grounds, they tend to be silent.

Like many other cuckoos, this species is a brood parasite. Many laughingthrushes (example Garrulax sannio) are capable of detecting the eggs of the cuckoo and remove them. The cuckoos lay eggs that mimic those of their hosts.

Egg Mimicry

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