Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Pied Crested Cuckoo

Jacobin Cuckoo, Pied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo

The Pied Crested Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is also known as the Jacobin Cuckoo or Pied Cuckoo. It is the 5th species of Cuckoo to be featured here.

Jacobin Cuckoo, Pied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo

It is a black and white bird, easily distinguished by its crest. The upper plumage is all black, including the street. There is a broad white band running through the wing. The under parts are all white. The long tail is graduated and tipped with white.

Jacobin Cuckoo, Pied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo

The bill is black, feet bluish black and the iris is reddish brown.

Jacobin Cuckoo, Pied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo

This bird is distributed across India and Africa. The East African population migrates to India during April. The resident population in India is thought to be found only in South India.

Jacobin Cuckoo, Pied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo

They prefer dry open woodlands, groves and gardens. It never descends to the ground. They feed on hairy caterpillars and fruits.

It is a noisy bird and birds can be heard calling from prominent perches and while chasing each other:

Jacobin Cuckoo, Pied Cuckoo, or Pied Crested Cuckoo

Like most other Cuckoos it is a brood parasite on babblers and crow nests, destroying one or two of the owners eggs before laying two or three of its own. Majority of the eggs are laid in June. The young birds have darker plumage than their parents, evidently in order to deceive their foster parents. The nestlings do not evict the eggs of the host from the nest.

Pied-crested Cuckoo

There exists great enmity between these bids and crows and the latter can often be seen chasing the former.

  Sighting Information:
Location: Yerppanahalli, Bannerghatta, Bangalore
Date: 12th June 2011
Time: Morning; 8:00 AM
Weather: Sunny morning after overnight rains
Other Details: One bird seen on the same tree with an Asian Koel, feeding on hairy caterpillars. It did not seem to mind me until I got too close.