Black-winged cuckooshrike

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Black-winged cuckooshrike
Black-winged Cuckooshrike.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Campephagidae
Genus: Lalage
Species: L. melaschistos
Binomial name
Lalage melaschistos
(Hodgson, 1836)

Coracina melaschistos

The black-winged cuckooshrike or lesser grey cuckooshrike or dark grey cuckooshrike (Lalage melaschistos) is a species of cuckooshrike found in South to Southeast Asia. Despite the name, they ( cuckooshrikes ) are unrelated to shrikes or cuckoos. They have broad based bills with grey upper parts, black wings, white vent, graduated white-tipped tails, black bills and legs. Females are overall lighter in all taxa.


They breed in summer in mountains from 300–2450 meters and migrate altitudinally or south in winter. It is distributed from Northeast Pakistan through the lower Himalayan region (Uttarakhand, Nepal, Arunachal Pradesh and into the hills of NE Myanmar continuing to China and Southeast Asia. It winters in the foothills, occasionally longer distances south west to northern parts of peninsular India and east to Orissa, Bengal and Bangladesh, but may travel as far south as Kerala).[2]

Habitat: Breeds in deciduous and broad-leaved evergreen forest but winters in open forest, groves, singly or in pairs. They are also known to join mixed feeding parties. Their diet consists mainly of caterpillars, beetles and other bugs.


Black-winged cuckooshrike at Jayanti in Buxa Tiger Reserve in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, India
Black-winged cuckooshrike (female)

A medium-sized, dark cuckoo-shrike with unbarred, grey underparts.

Male: dark grey above; contrasting black wings and tail. Wide white feather tips on underside of tail.
Female: Palers with faint barring on underside[3]
Call: Loud twit twit to we, descending in scale.
Diet: mainly invertebrates.
Nests in tree.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Lalage melaschistos". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Taylor, B. (2005). Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina melaschistos). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2014). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 March 2015).
  3. ^ Grewal, Bikram; Harvey, Bill; Pfister, Otto (2002). Photographic guide to birds of India. Princeton, NJ, US: Princeton University Press. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-691-11496-5.