I spent a few days at this hill station and saw Hawk-cuckoos twice (Posts 1 and 2 first bird seen on 20/11/2018, Posts 3 and 4 second bird in different lighting seen 21/11/2018).
Appreciate opinions on them. I think both birds I saw were the Dark Hawk-cuckoo; previously classified under the Large Hawk-cuckoo as Hierococcyx sparverioides bocki.
Sources that accept the Dark Hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx bocki) include:
- Johannes Erritzøe, Clive F. Mann, Frederik P. Brammer, Richard A. Fuller. Cuckoos of the World. Helm, 2012
- Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World 2018
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive 2018 (online edition)
But The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, 4th Edition retains it under the Large Hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx sparverioides).
Cuckoos of the World 2012 states that the Dark Hawk-cuckoo in comparison to the Large Hawk-cuckoo:
- Is considerably smaller
- Lacks white on the lores
- Generally darker
No calls were heard. Both were seen fairly early in the morning. In the first instance a pair of Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii) were unhappy with the presence of the Hawk-cuckoo and chased it away.
Responses came from:
- James Eaton:
“First bird (juvenile), identified as bocki by lack of contrast between head and grey (not brown) upperparts, and lack of streaking on underparts. Second bird, appears to be a sub-adult, the darker lores is a good feature. Sub-adult Large would still show more streaking on the underparts too, and certainly appear more elongated and larger.
I don’t find them particularly darker, poor choice of English name, unfortunately.”
2. Tou Jing Yi:
“Looks like a Dark to me. Large felt more slender especially the head, looked more like a pigeon, and likely where the local expression of “Sewah Tekukur” comes from…….”
- Rosli Omar:
“I believe it is the Dark Hawk-Cuckoo. I have seen this bird quite a few times in Fraser’s Hill at the mentioned height. I don’t see any other possibilities.”
Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Location: Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, Malaysia
Habitat: 1300 m ASL, trail along primary montane jungle
Date: 20th November 2018, 21th November 2018
Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld