Hierococcyx varius, Vahl.
205. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 329; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 205 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 388 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 63.
THE COMMON HAWK CUCKOO.
Length, 13.4 ; expanse, 22.1 , wing, 7.5 ; tail, 7 ; tarsus, 0.8 ; bill at front, 0.83 ; bill from gape, 1.2.
Bill black on the culmen and tip, yellow beneath; orbits orange-yellow; irides dull gamboge-yellow; legs and feet yellow. Upper parts' uniform ash-grey ; the winglet and coverts of the primaries darker; foreneck and breast pale rufous, each feather light grey in the centre ; belly and flanks white, barred with adjoining lines of grey and rufous, the white hardly visible exteriorly, from the overlapping of the feathers; thighs, vent, and lower-coverts, pure white, the first a little barred ; throat grey, and some white at the base of the bill and sides of the throat; tail grey, tipped with faint rufous, and finally whitish, having a broad dusky subterminal band, and five other narrower and undulating zigzag bands (one near the base) composed of a dusky bar, then a whitish one adjoining, with some traces of rufous ; quills barred with white on their inner webs for the basal two-thirds of their length.
The young bird has the upper plumage browner and rufous-barred ; and the lower parts are whitish, tinged with rusty, and with longitudinal brown drops. In older birds the spots are longitudinal on the neck and breast, transverse and arrow-shaped on the abdomen.
With the exception of Sind, the Hawk Cuckoo is generally spread throughout the district; but there are parts of the Deccan where it is absent or only occurs as a somewhat rare straggler.