Order: Cuculiformes

Family: Cuculidae

Scientific name: Clamator coromandus, Linnaeus, 1766

IUCN Red list status- Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Chestnut Winged Cuckoo is also known as Red winged Crested Cuckoo.
  2. Chestnut Winged Cuckoo lays their eggs in the nest of Laughing thrush birds.


The Chestnut-winged Cuckoo is 35 to 45 cm in long and weighs 60 to 90 grams. The plumage is metallic glossy black. The head is black with a long black spiky crest. There is a narrow white band on the nape extending to the sides of the neck. The chin and the upper chest are rusty and rufous. The lower parts are white or pale gray. The feet are gray and the irises are black. The tail is black and there is as inconspicuous white margin on the terminal edges. Both Sexes looks similar.


The diet of Chestnut-winged Cuckoo mostly consists of large insects and their larvae. They feed on caterpillars, mantis, dragon flies, beetles, spiders etc. They also feed on small fruits. The forage time is mainly day and it is done solitarily and very rarely in pairs.


The habitat of Chestnut Winged Cuckoo includes tropical and temperate deciduous-evergreen forests. They also inhabit light secondary forests and thick scrub jungles. They can be seen as Winter Migrant in South India and Sri Lanka. They are resident in Himalayas from Uttarakhand region to Northeast India and Bangladesh.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season of Chestnut Winged Cuckoo May to June. During this time they are very vocal. They are brood parasites and lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, especially Laughing Thrushes. The hosts incubate the eggs and raise the cuckoo hatchlings along with their own.


The call is a repeated fluty twin “klink-klink”.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Pied Crested Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus).
  • Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius).
  • Levaillant’s Cuckoo (Clamator levaillantii).

Migratory Behaviour

Migratory, Winter Visitor and Passage Migrant