Under this group, there are 3 main categories of birds :- The parasitic Cuckoo, the Malkohas and lastly the Ground Cuckoos. In the whole world, classified under this group of birds, there are 79 species and South East Asia .has 27 of them. I have separated these 3 groups into their individual page. This page deals solely on Parasitic Cuckoos.
From this broad group of 27 birds, I have extracted 16 birds which are named as Cuckoo and also reported as sighted in Malaysia. I am happy to say that as confirmed by recent reports, chances of sighting birds listed within this group of Parasitic Cuckoos are extremely good.
Having said that there is a good chance of seeing these Cuckoos in Malaysia, sad to say most people in the country do not know the existence of the real Cuckoo in the country. They have not seen one or even they may had chance encounter, which is fairly frequent, they may not recognize one. Why? Cuckoo birds are never seen in public places. The locals who have some interest in birds assume that Cuckoos are the regular birds we see in the park i.e. Spotted Dove and Zebra Dove.
Cuckoo is a familiar name for birds and calls from Cuckoo birds are heard so often. E.g. those of the Plaintive Cuckoo in our parks and the calls from Indian Cuckoo are just too familiar and loud at forest edge. Then why are the locals not familiar then?
Cuckoos are heard but never seen as they prefer the high canopy to make their calls. When down in the lower storey and in open branches, they were never seen calling. That's why it is possible to co-relate the calls with the birds. Since Cuckoo is such a familiar name, has to equate that the familiar Dove that e see have to assume that role. Also can be seen from this page, I manage to accumulate pictures of the lesser seen Cuckoos and not that much from the more common Indian, Plaintive and Little Cuckoos.
As the description "parasitic" for this group suggest, the birds lay their eggs in the nest of other birds than remove the eggs of the occupants. Here in Malaysia, the bird would choose those birds with open nest like that of Prinias, Tailorbird and Bulbuls, which are a fraction of its adult size. These nest again are in the lower storey or even in bushes. It is quite a common sight to witness a tiny adult mother bird feeding a baby of gigantic size at the nest.
|1. Asian Emerald Cuckoo|
|2. Banded Bay Cuckoo|
|3. Brush Cuckoo|
|4. Chestnut-winged Cuckoo|
|6. Dark Hawk-Cuckoo|
|7. Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo|
|8. Himalayan Cuckoo|
|9. Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo|
|10. Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo|
|11. Indian Cuckoo|
|12. Large Hawk-Cuckoo|
|13. Little Bronze-Cuckoo|
|14. Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo|
|15. Moustached Hawk-Cuckoo|
|16 Northern Hawk-Cuckoo|
|17. Oriental Cuckoo|
|18 Pied Cuckoo|
|19 Plaintive Cuckoo|
|20. Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo|
|21. Sunda Cuckoo|
|22. Violet Cuckoo|
Beside the parasitic nature of these bird, they are nice looking. Their loud calls are very pleasant to hear and also keeping the environment alive. In fact, a couple of species are also very pretty except that they are so rare and we cannot enjoy seeing them.
Sightings of the commonly heard cuckoo and getting pictures is the same. Hence the chances of meeting up with the rarer birds and those regularly heard in the park are almost the same. My experiences showed that getting pictures of the less common ones are easier as once they were seen unexpectedly, they remained perched for a while. The regulars to the park would not leave immediately but continued moving from branches to branches.
Of all the Cuckoos shown here, the Drongo Cuckoo is readily seen followed by the Little Bronze Cuckoo. Then, the reverse, all the other species are encountered only on rare chance meeting basis.