On the afternoon of 13th January 2010, Arthur Voo spotted and photographed a cuckoo perched on a branch (ca. 7 m above ground), outside the Central Nature Reserve (National Parks Board) office. This was referred to Dr Leong Tzi Ming, who after some deliberation and comparison, suspected that it might be an immature/subadult Large Hawk Cuckoo (Hierococcyx sparverioides). This was subsequently sent to Subaraj Rajathurai for verification.
“I concur with your identification. It appears to be a sub-adult H.sparverioides,” wrote Subaraj. They are uncommon migrants to Singapore and December/January seem good months for an encounter. Distinct features include the white moustache and tail tip, the broad black sub-terminal band with a thin black band above it, the chestnut sides of neck and the bold streaking on throat to upper breast. The short tail may be due to moulting and it still retains the chestnut barring above of its juvenile plumage.”
*Albert Low has written… “It has come to my attention that with regard to the … blog post, it seems highly likely that the bird in question has been mis-identified as a Large Hawk-Cuckoo and should be more correctly considered an individual of the confusing Hodgson’s Hawk-cuckoo complex which is difficult to differentiate in the field… – please see full text under comment.