Grey-bellied cuckoo

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Grey-bellied cuckoo
Grey-bellied Cuckoo (Cacomantis passerinus) at Hyderabad, AP W 067.jpg
In Secunderabad, India.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Cacomantis
C. passerinus
Binomial name
Cacomantis passerinus
(Vahl, 1797)

The grey-bellied cuckoo or the Indian plaintive cuckoo (Cacomantis passerinus) is a cuckoo with widespread occurrence throughout Asia.


The grey-bellied cuckoo is one of the smaller cuckoos, at a total length of about 23 cm. Adults are mainly grey with a white lower belly and undertail. There is a white patch on the wings. Some females are dark-barred reddish brown above with an unbarred tail and have strongly dark-barred whitish underparts. The juvenile resembles the female but is of a duller grey.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The grey-bellied cuckoo breeds in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka to south China and Indonesia. It has been reported from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.[1] It is a short-distance migrant, since birds at more northerly latitudes and on higher ground are summer visitors, leaving for warmer areas in winter. The species prefers light woodland and cultivated areas.[2]


The grey-bellied cuckoo is a brood parasite and uses warblers as hosts. It lays a single egg. Its diet consists of a variety of insects and caterpillars. this is a noisy species, with a persistent and loud pee-pip-pee-pee call, with its tail depressed.[2]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Cacomantis passerinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Grimmett, Richard; Inskipp, Carol; Inskipp, Tim; Allen, Richard (2011). Birds of the Indian subcontinent. Christopher Helm.