Main content

Common Hawk Cuckoo

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the common hawk cuckoo from the Bengal region.

Tweet of the Day is the voice of birds and our relationship with them, from around the world.

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the common hawk cuckoo from the Bengal region. The repetitive call of the common hawk-cuckoo, otherwise known as the brain-fever bird, is one of the typical sounds of rural India and on into the foothills of the Himalayas. Its name partly derives from its call sounding like "brain fever" but also what one writer called its repetition being a "damnable iteration". It looks like a bird of prey, and flies like one too, imitating the flapping glide of a sparrowhawk in the region, known as the shikra, often accompanied by mobbing small birds. Unwittingly as they mob her, birds like babblers betray their nest, into which the cuckoo will lay her egg.

Available now

2 minutes

Common Hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx varius)

Webpage image courtesy of Bernard Castelein / naturepl.com.

NPL Ref 01380485 © Bernard Castelein / naturepl.com

Broadcasts

Podcast: Planet Puffin

Podcast: Planet Puffin

Exploring all things puffin - the silly and the serious, the scientific and the cultural.

Try this new podcast

Try this new podcast

Five stories of birds and birdsong are told by the people inspired by them.

Podcast