The Common Hawk-Cuckoo is a medium to large sized cuckoo, about the size of a pigeon (ca. 34 cm). The plumage is ashy grey above; whitish below, cross-barred with brown. The tail is broadly barred. The sexes are alike. They have a distinctive yellow eye ring. Subadults have the breast streaked, similar to the immature Shikra, and there are large brown chevron marks on the belly. At first glance they can be mistaken for a hawk. When flying they use a flap and glide style that resembles that of sparrowhacks (especially the Shikra) and flying upwards and landing on a perch they shake their tails from side to side. Many small and birds and squirrels raise alarm just as they would in the presence of a hawk. The sexes are alike but males tend to be larger.
It was the time of september 2011 when I was at a village named Ikonda near my hometown for birding. At a sudden, I saw this bird on a perch flapping his wings. I saw this bird at first time so misguided to identify it as a shikra. It was the juvenile and some large grey babblers were making a gathering around him and making a loud noise. This juvenile was also screaming and trying to fly here and there but the babblers were chasing him continuously. I was confused and trying to understand that what actually was happening there but couldn’t get any result. I was trekking him continuously and capturing him in my camera time to time.
Here are some images from that shoot.
Common Hawk-Cuckoo portrait
Common Hawk-Cuckoo in habitat
Large Grey Babblers chasing Common Hawk-Cuckoo
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