Species in News: Pied Cuckoo


  • Recently, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), has decided to study the migration of the Pied Cuckoo Bird by tagging the bird with satellite transmitters.
  • This is the first study in the country that seeks to trace and observe the migratory routes of the pied cuckoo.

Back to Basics:

  • It is a bird with black and white plumage (pied) with a fancy crest on the head. Its scientific name is Clamator jacobinus. It is found in Africa and Asia.
  • There are two types of pied cuckoos found in India.
    • In central and northern parts of India, pied cuckoos are migratory, they are seen only from just before the monsoon to early winter.
      • It is believed that the pied cuckoos that come to the Himalayan foothills are from Africa.
      • They have high site fidelity, that is, they come back to the same location year after year.
    • Pied cuckoos are also found in southern India, but those are resident birds and not migratory.
  • The bird is primarily arboreal, which means that it mostly lives on trees. It is a brood parasite i.e. It lays its eggs in nests that belong to other birds.
  • It is one of the few species that come to India in the summer. Most other migratory species come in winter.

IUCN Status: Least Concerned.

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