Historically, many Old World parasitic cuckoos (Cuculinae) share many similarities with Accipiter hawks, including their size, shape, and plumage. Parasitic cuckoos have a higher likelihood of being barred on their underparts than non-parasitic cuckoos. Common Hawk-cuckoos are part of the Cuculidae family (which includes cuckoos, koels, and coucals), and have evolved as visual mimics of shikras (Accipiter badius).
The cuckoo’s hawk-like appearance may be due to the evolution of cryptic plumage that makes it harder to be detected by hosts and prey, or to the reproduction of hawk mimicry by parasitic cuckoos, either for protection against hawk attacks or to facilitate brood parasitism by altering host behavior.
Common Hawk-cuckoo Call
There is evidence to suggest some small birds resemble sparrow hawks Accipiter nisus when responding to common cuckoos Cuculus canorus. Many of these old books incorrectly refer to the Asian koel by the incorrect name brain fever (this name is also incorrectly used for the call of this bird).
In spite of the note’s “damnable iteration” or its remarkable resemblance to the phrase “brain-fever” repeated in a piercing voice, Finn was fully justified in his ordinary designation. common hawk-cuckoo call can also be interpreted in Hindi as piyaan kahan (“where is my love”) or in Bengali as chokh gelo (“my eyes are gone”) and in Marathi as paos ala (“the rain is coming”).
There is a shrill screaming sound called “nu-pi-peeah” that is more accurately represented by the call “Pee kahan” or “Papeeha,” which is made by the large hawk-cuckoo, which replaces the brain-fever bird along the Himalayas and its foothills. Brain fever birds call throughout the day, often during moonlit nights and early in the morning before dawn. Here you can enjoy the Common Hawk-cuckoo Call.
Male hawk cuckoos sing aloud, repeated three-note song during their breeding season. A male bird’s febrile call is frantic in nature, perhaps signaling his desperate search for a mate. Female cuckoos are conspicuously silent, only calling for mates and warning off other males.
Based on this bird, the Indian writer Allan Sealy wrote a novel. It is often difficult to spot males during the summer months before the monsoons when they are easily detected by their repeated calls. A loud screaming three-note call begins and ends abruptly, rising in crescendo for 5 or 6 repeats. You can hear it all day and during moonlit nights as well. The females’ grating calls can be heard throughout the day.
Common Hawk-cuckoo Distribution
From Pakistan in the west, along the Himalayan foothills, and into Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and North East India, as well as Sri Lanka in the south, the common hawk-cuckoo is widespread on the Indian subcontinent. Some birds of Indian origin are found in Sri Lanka. Ciceliae inhabits the hills of central Sri Lanka. The species is generally resident, but migration occurs locally in arid areas and at high altitudes.
The common hawk-cuckoo is more prominent in high elevations (mostly above 1000m) of the Himalayas than it is at lower elevations, where the large hawk-cuckoo is more common. Their dark streaks on the throat and breast can however be confused with those of the large hawk-cuckoo.
A large common hawk-cuckoo chin is black when it is young, unlike pale young birds. It is a medium-sized cuckoo common on the Indian subcontinent, also known as the brain-fever bird. In its flight and landing style, it is very similar to the Shikra.
During and after the display of mounted cuckoos and sparrowhawks, great tits and blue tits were both alarmed and reduced attendance at feeders. The response to collared doves or teal was not in response to control presentations. In fact, manipulations of cuckoo plumage revealed that a strong alarm response often depends on the resemblance of the bird to hawks; cuckoos with barred underparts are perceived as hawks, while those with unbarred underparts are perceived as doves.
It should be noted, however, that barring was not the only feature that elicited alarm from tits; barred and unbarred hawks also showed alarm, while barred doves showed little alarm. This suggests that naive small birds may mistake cuckoos for hawks, even though they are unsuitable as hosts and have no history of cuckoo parasitism. The adaptation of cuckoo-hawk species to brood parasitism is therefore likely to be the result of an evolved response to brood parasitism.