Pied Cuckoo, Pied Cuckoo, where are you?

This entry was posted Friday, 23 May, 2014 at 6:23 am
Pied Cuckoo migration and the monsoon. By Rohan Chakravarty

Pied Cuckoo migration and monsoon winds. Illustration by Rohan Chakravarty

As regular MigrantWatchers know, we run a Pied Cuckoo Campaign every year, from May to August. The idea behind this campaign is to better understand the timing of migration of the species, as it wafts across the Arabian Sea from east Africa to land on our soon-to-be-green land. More specifically, this applies to the population of Pied Cuckoos that migrates to central and northern India; in southern India, the species can be seen year-round (as you can see from these nice eBird maps on the Bird Count India website).

Over the years (the campaign started in 2009), your sightings of Pied Cuckoo have enabled a better understanding of its migration in relation to the onset of the monsoon. You can see some summaries of the information collected on various MigrantWatch blog posts, including an analysis of the very first campaign, a comparison between 2009 and 2010, and animated map of Pied Cuckoo sightings, and a summary of four years of arrivals in relation to the monsoon.

Please do be on the looking for the species, and remember that you can contribute your observations to either MigrantWatch or eBird.


7 Comments to Pied Cuckoo, Pied Cuckoo, where are you?

  1. S Rajagopal says:

    May 24th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Hi All,

    while I have been following this bird since 1986 ( under the guidance of My Prof.H.Daniel wesley of Bishop Heber college ,trichy) we recorded the courtship /mating of Pied crested cuckoos

    In 2012 me & my wife spotted 2 Pied crested cuckoos ( in chennai, trade centre ,Nandambakkam, in midst of city !!) being chased by a group of babblers , one of pied cuckoo was badly injured. On closer look we found that there were 2 broken eggs lying down a tree. the egg outer shell was in emerald /turquoise blue color. onlookers told us that PC cuckoo kicked the babbler eggs from the nest ,when the female ( larger than other bird) tried to sit in the nest babblers pecked it furiously. we nourished the PC cuckoo & released it after a while

    later when we “googled ” we found blood parasitizing relationship ?! between babbler & PC cuckoo



  2. admin says:

    May 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Interesting observation. Pied Cuckoos are brood parasites on Turdoides babblers, and lay eggs that are virtually indistinguishable from their hosts!

  3. priyanka kawatra arora says:

    August 15th, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Rohan…. welll observed n written

  4. J S Sudan says:

    October 22nd, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Have observed a juvenile PC cuckoo on 13 Oct 14 at Saugor, MP with a gp of Jungle Babblers.
    Left me wondering – firstly, isn’t it too late for the young one to be hanging around ?
    Secondly, does the young one travels back on it’s own ?

  5. admin says:

    October 23rd, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Hello Sir — thanks for this observation. Young Pied Cuckoos are seen into October elsewhere in C and N India as well. Most likely the parents leave, and then the young fly to Africa on their own. This happens in other species too. For example young Eurasian Cuckoos hatched in Europe fly south to Africa well after their parents have already left.

  6. dr. ramappa lokesha says:

    July 25th, 2015 at 12:47 am

    i have a few sightings of pied cuckoo at raichur a district place in karnataka pricipally under hyderabad karanataka region. the first sighting is during May 2005. two other sightings are June 2012 after its sighting in two days intervel we received rains. during july 2015 one more sighting (21-07-2015) after it was sighted although rain has started a few days back, there was a dry spell, the same day we received rain

  7. admin says:

    July 25th, 2015 at 1:03 am

    Thank you for writing, Sir. That’s very interesting! Several others have observations similar to yours and that’s why we are trying to pool such information together in one place for a better overall idea about Pied Cuckoo arrival dates and monsoon onset. If you could upload these sightings, either to MigrantWatch or to eBird <http://ebird.org> that would be of great help. Please do let us know if you need any help with this.

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