Cacomantis passerinus

Cacomantis passerinus, Vahl.

208. :- Polyphasia nigra, apud Blyth. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 333; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 461; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 388.


Length, 9 ; expanse, 14; wing, 4.5 ; tail, 4.5 ; tarsus, 0.6 ; bill at front, 0.6.

Bill blackish, red at base and gape; irides rusty-red ; feet reddish-yellow.

Adult, uniform dark-ashy above, with more or less of a green gloss; beneath pale ashy; vent and under tail-coverts pure white; quills dusky, with a broad white band on the inner web of each feather; tail blackish ; the inner webs banded with white (except the middle pair), and all tipped white.

A common phase of this species in South India is dusky-cinereous, almost blackish above, with a greenish gloss beneath the same, but less glossed ; tail as in the last, but darker and with fewer white spots.

The younger state of this phase is glossy dark-cinereous only on the back and wings, the head and rump being ashy; chin and throat cinereous; breast darker cinereous, banded with rufous and white ; belly pale cinereous, faintly marked with pale rufous" and white; under tail-coverts white; tail as in the last.

In some states of plumage all the upper parts are bright rufous, with dusky bars; the primaries dusky brown with rufous edges; the tail rufous, all the outer feathers- having dark bars and a broader subterminal one, with a. white, spot at the tip"; throat, neck and breast, pale rufous, with dusky bars; and the belly, flanks, and tail-coverts white, also with dusky cross bars tibial feathers rufous barred.

In a more advanced state of the same plumage the bars on the head and rump disappear, and those that remain have a green gloss upon them.

Not uncommon during the rains in many parts of the Deccan, and at Mount Aboo ; it probably also occurs at and near Mhow ; it has never been recorded from Sind, Cutch, Kattiawar, or Jodhpore.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Cacomantis passerinus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Plaintive Cuckoo
Grey-bellied Cuckoo
Cacomantis passerinus

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