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Common Name : Indian Plaintive Cuckoo     -       Scientific Name : Cacomantis passerines       -       Other Name : Grey-bellied Cuckoo (E), Heen Koha (S)
Maradanmaduwa
02/14/2014
Maradanmaduwa
02/14/2014
Maradanmaduwa
02/22/2016
Maradanmaduwa
02/22/2016

This is a migrant species that is found during the season in the dry lowlands up to mid hills. Other than Sri Lanka it is also found in Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (IUCN Red List) and it is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

I have seen it in forests and well wooded gardens mostly in the dry lowlands. It is quite rare in the wet zone. I have only seen it on a very few occasions in the wet zone. In January 1996 at Kotte, December 1996 in Diyawella forest at Rassagala and in January 2001 at Malabe. It is not a rare bird in the dry lowlands and can be commonly seen in all the dry zone national parks. In the north it is common in the Jaffna peninsula and in the Mannar Island. In February 2012 I saw one in the Delft Island.

The female has two colour phases. One being reddish brown and the other is grey resembling the male. As with all the cuckoo species it is quite fond of caterpillars.

It is a regularly seen bird in Wilpattu during the migrant season. Interestingly during my visits I have observed a few individuals remaining during the non-migrant season as well.