Sirkeer malkoha

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Sirkeer malkoha
Sirkeer Malkoha.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Phaenicophaeus
Species: P. leschenaultii
Binomial name
Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii
(Lesson, 1830)

Taccocua leschenaultii

The sirkeer malkoha or sirkeer cuckoo (Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii), is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes the roadrunners, the anis, and the Hoatzin. It is a resident bird in the Indian subcontinent.


All of the sub-Himalayan Indian subcontinent, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka; patchy in Pakistan and Rajasthan. Sometimes considered as three races, varying in colouration.


  • Size: A largish bird at 42 cm.
  • Appearance: Mainly earthy brown and rufous in colour, and the long heavy tail is edged with prominently white tipped graduated cross-rayed tail feathers. An obvious relation of the coucal (crow pheasant).[2] Bill is hooked, bright cherry-red and yellow. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller and barred above.
  • Habitat: Largely terrestrial, open scrub and thorn jungle, deciduous secondary jungle. Singly or in pairs.
  • Behaviour: Stalks about amongst thickets like crow-pheasant, searching for food; insects, lizards, fallen fruits and berries, etc. Runs swiftly through undergrowth looking like mongoose. Feeble flier, but ascends trees rapidly, hopping from branch to branch with great agility, like the coucal.
  • Call: Normally a subdued "bzuk... bzuk" ; also an alarm call of "p'tang" with a metallic quality.[3]
  • Food: A variety of insects, caterpillars and small vertebrates. It occasionally eats berries.[4]


This cuckoo, like other Malkohas, is non-parasitic.

  • Season - March to August (varying with latitude)
  • Nest: a shallow saucer of twigs lined with green leaves, in a thorn bush such as Euphorbia, or sapling 2 to 7 m up.
  • Eggs: 2 or 3, white, with a chalky texture.

The scientific name of this bird commemorates the French botanist Jean Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Ali, Salim; Sidney Dillon Ripley (1986/2001). Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan, 2nd ed.,10 vols (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.  Check date values in: |date= (help)Bird Number 598
  3. ^ Ali, Salim; J C Daniel (1983). The book of Indian Birds, Twelfth Centenary edition. New Delhi: Bombay Natural History Society/Oxford University Press. 
  4. ^ Grimmett, Richard; Carol Inskipp; Tim Inskipp; Sarath Kotagama; Shahid Ali (1998). Guide to the Birds of Indian subcontinent. Illustrated by Clive Byers, Daniel Cole, John Cox, Gerald Driessens, Carl D'Silva, Martin Elliott, Kim Franklin, Alan Harris, Peter Hayman, Craig Robson, Jan Wilczur, and Tim Worfolk. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-691-04910-6.