Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 250 (!) - Common Hawk-cuckoo

We are still in India and still at the Sultanpur National Park for the 250th edition of Wild Bird Wednesday.

And I am still too busy for a long post!  Anyway.........

These birds are Common Hawk-cuckoos (Hierococcyx varius).  This species is also known as the 'Brain Fever' bird - as its call sounds like the words brain fever, repeated over and over again!

Like most cuckoos these birds are brood parasites, often laying their eggs in the nests of Babblers.  This species has evolved to minic sparrowhawk-like birds of prey in flight, which often causes smaller birds to panic and start alarm calling when the cuckoo passes.  Maybe this helps the cuckoo locate nests to lay it's eggs in.

This birds are about 34cm long and can be seen over much of India.









As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking the blue button that will appear at the bottom of the page.  Cheers  SM



26 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fascinating and handsome bird, but I'm wishing for sound as I can't imagine 'brain fever' coming from it. Wonder if I can google or you tube? I will try. Thank you for hosting especially as always when you are so busy.

Sharon Wagner said...

The top photo is stunning. His eye is luminous.

Wally Jones said...

Wow, what a fascinating bird, Stewart! Reminds me of our local Cooper's Hawk a bit in appearance. Sounds like you are on a wonderful adventure. Thank you for taking the time to share a bit of it with us!

Hi, Sallie! Long time no hear (which is my fault!). Here's a link that might give you an idea of what this cool bird sounds like: http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Hierococcyx-varius.

Linda W. said...

It has a fierce stare! Great shots.

Rhodesia said...

Interesting bird and great photos. Cheers Diane

Gordon said...

Nice one Stewart, looks like a cross between a Sparrow hawk and a Cuckoo.
Take care.Gordon.

Les Fous du Cap said...

Cette série sur le coucou est très belle ;-)
Céline & Philippe

mick said...

great photos of very interesting birds.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

you used light so perfectly... this is making pictures outstanding...

Anu said...

Great photos! Wonderful bird!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

a hawk-dove

Jo said...

Hi Stewart, what an amazing bird this is for me! I love cuckoos and I love raptors and this is two-in-one! Thanks for hosting this meme. I've added my link. Greetings Jo (South Africa)

June Caedmon said...

He's an intense looking chap, isn't he? I think I'd call in alarm, too! Great captures, Stewart - congrats on 250! wow!

Andrea Priebe said...

His coloring is a little like the Kestrel (often called the Sparrow Hawk), but no hooked beak or long talons ... so even if the birds are fooled, I am not. He is handsome in spite of his bad behaviors. One has to wonder why this habit emerged as it seems so distasteful. Perhaps the smaller bird need some form of birth control in order to minimize their numbers ... just spitting in the wind for the fun of it :) Hope you get unbusy so you can relax and enjoy :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

NatureFootstep said...

strange bird, but I can see where the name came from :) Interesting!

photodoug said...

Stewart, what an interesting hawk. Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

Interesting bird! What a sharp eye!

Екатерина Балагурова said...

Very interesting bird!Great shots!

A Quiet Corner said...

As you know, I have a thing for hawks, Stewart and this one is a handsome specimen. A great series of pix!!...:)JP

Dave Lewis said...

You find the most interesting birds!
Though I must say, I listened to a few recordings and like most bird mnemonics, I just don't get it.
Time for a hearing test!...or a brain check...

Lee said...

Mother Nature is a very clever lady! :)

Pat Tillett said...

Very interesting! This bird really does have mean look on it's face.
Great photos Stewart!

Margaret Adamson said...

I have never seen this bird Stewart but he is certainly handsome. Thanks foor hosting. I am sorry these days I do not have the same time to comment on all your posts due to recent events but I appreaciae you posts and your comments on mine.

Missy George said...

Pretty bird..didn't look anything like a Hawk until the last series of shots...nice get..
No birdies this week..Happy Mothers Day

Chris Rohrer said...

Quite a striking bird. Anything with the name cuckoo in it is a favorite of mine.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Wonderful birds - I've never seen a cuckoo - that would be so neat.