1107. Cuculus micropterus.
The Indian Cuckoo.
Cuculus micropterus, Gould, P. Z. S. 1837, p. 137; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 326; id. Ibis, 1872, p. 13; King, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 214; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 267; Holdsworth, P. Z. S. 1872, p. 430; Walden, Ibis, 1873, p. 304 ; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 191; iii, p. 79; ix, p. 248 ; xi, p. 71; Blyth & Wold. Birds Burm. p. 79 ; Hume, Cat. no. 203; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 255; Davidson & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 79 ; Ball, ibid. p. 207 ; Cripps, ibid. p. 264; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 55 ; Bingham, ibid. p. 167 ; Butler, ibid. p. 388; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 228; Davison, S. F. x, p. 359 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 104; Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 411; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 125 ; Davidson, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. i, p. 180; Shelley, Cat. B. M. xix, p. 241. Cuculus affinis, Hay, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 18 (1846). Cuculus striatus, apud Blyth, Cat. p. 70; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 703; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 328.
Boukotako, Beng.; Takpo, Lepch.; Kankatong, Bhot.; Kyphulpakka, Mussooree ; Kupulpukki, Chamba.
Bill stronger than in the other Indian species.
Coloration. The head and neck above and at the sides dark ashy, remainder of upper plumage rich brown; the quills barred with white on their inner webs; tail with a broad subterminal black band and white tip; a series of alternating white and black marks along the shafts of the rectrices and white or rufous indenta¬tions on both edges; chin, throat, and upper breast pale ashy; rest of lower parts creamy white, with black cross-bars about half as broad as the white interspaces; under wing- and tail-coverts and vent with narrower and more distant cross-bars. The female only differs in having the throat and breast browner.
The young bird has the head and neck above broadly barred with rufescent white (in some these parts are chiefly white) and each feather of the upper plumage tipped with rufescent; the whole lower plumage buff, broadly barred with dark brown, and the tail more banded than in adults and with the spots more rufous. Immediately after this, the nestling garb, has been assumed, the white and rufous margins to the upper plumage commence to disappear, the throat and upper breast turn to ashy, and the bars on the lower plumage grow more defined. Birds that leave the nest in May are almost in adult plumage in October, retaining only the rufous tips to the upper wing-coverts and secondaries, and they acquire' a rufous band across the upper breast, which is ultimately lost except by females.
Upper mandible horny black, lower mandible and a patch under the nostrils dull green; iris rich brown, eyelids greenish plumbeous, the edges deep yellow; gape and legs yellow (Oates).
Length about 13 ; tail 6 to 6.5; wing 7.5 to 8.5 ; tarsus .8; bill from gape 1.3.
Distribution. Common throughout the Himalayas and extending into China, Japan, and Eastern Siberia in summer. Found also generally, distributed over the Peninsula of India and Ceylon, not in the Punjab, Sind, or Rajputana, rarer in the south, but not uncommon in the forests of the Eastern Central Provinces and Bengal, and extending through the hill countries south of Assam and the Burmese territories to Malacca, Java, Borneo, and the Moluccas.
Habits, &c Scarcely anything appears known about the migration and breeding of this Cuckoo. It certainly breeds in the Himalayas and Assam hills and probably in other hill-ranges, perhaps in the plains also. Its call is a fine melodious whistle, represented by the names Boukotako and Kyphulpakka. In flight, habits, and food it resembles C. canorus.