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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 15:59 EDT

Pied Cuckoo

The Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) also known as the Pied Crested Cuckoo or Jacobin Cuckoo, is a species of bird in the cuckoo family which includes roadrunners, anis, and the Hoatzin. It is found in Africa south of the Sahara Desert east to India, Sri Lanka and Burma. It is migratory, but only over short distances. The more northerly birds and those at higher altitudes leave for warmer and wetter areas in the winter. Its habitat is scrub, wetlands and cultivation.

This is a large cuckoo at 13 inches long. Adults have a prominent crest and a long, graduated tail. There are two unique color variations of these birds. A lighter morph has black above with white underparts, whereas the dark morph is completely black except for a small white wing patch which is evident in both morphs. The young are browner above and yellow-white below.

The Pied cuckoo feeds on a variety of insects and caterpillars. It is quite noisy and has a loud pipew pipew pipew call. This is a brood parasite species that lays its single egg in nests of other birds, mostly babblers.

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Pied Cuckoo