Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo

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Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo
Hierococcyx fugax at Bukit Timah, Singapore.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Cuculus
Species: C. fugax
Binomial name
Cuculus fugax
Horsfield, 1821

Cuculus hyperythrus
Cuculus nisicolor
Hierococcyx fugax

The Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo (Cuculus fugax, also known as the Malaysian hawk-cuckoo and the northern hawk-cuckoo) is a species of cuckoo found in south, east and southeast Asia.

Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo is a brood parasite. The chick evicts bona fide residents of the parasitized nest, thus becoming the sole occupant. Under normal circumstances, this would reduce the provisioning rate as the foster parents see only one gape. To counteract this, the Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo displays gape-coloured patches of skin under its wing to simulate additional gapes; the strategy appears to increase the provisioning rate. This is in contrast to other species of cuckoo (such as the common cuckoo) which increase the rapidity of high pitched hunger calls to increase the provisioning rate.

Although the skin patch is not gape-shaped, it is convincing: host parents occasionally place food into the patch.

Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo was formerly regarded as having four subspecies. The Philippine hawk-cuckoo is now commonly treated as a separate species, C. pectoralis. The remaining forms are also sometimes split into three species: Malaysian hawk-cuckoo (C. fugax), Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo (C. nisicolor) and Rufous hawk-cuckoo or Northern hawk-cuckoo (C. hyperythrus).

The common name commemorates the British naturalist Brian Houghton Hodgson.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2013). "Cuculus fugax". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Bird? Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds. London: Christopher Helm. p. 167.