Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Large hawk-cuckoo

In Thai: นกคัคคูเหยี่ยวใหญ่, nok khak-khu yieow yai

Binomial name: Hierococcyx sparverioides, Nicholas Aylward Vigors, 1832

The large hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx sparverioides) is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. It has a wide breeding distribution from temperate Asia along the Himalayas extending to East Asia. Many populations winter further south. They are known for their loud and repetitive calls which are similar to that of the common hawk-cuckoo but do not rise in crescendo. They are also somewhat larger and adults can be readily told apart from the smaller common hawk-cuckoo by the black patch on the chin. They are brood-parasites of babblers and laughing-thrushes.


It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Found as a vagrant on Christmas Island. The subspecies H. s. bocki of the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo is usually considered a separate species, the dark hawk-cuckoo.


Its natural habitats are temperate forest and subtropical or tropical mangrove forest.


They call in summer and calling goes on well after dusk. In their winter grounds, they tend to be silent.

Like many other cuckoos, this species is a brood parasite. Many laughing-thrushes (example Garrulax sannio) are capable of detecting the eggs of the cuckoo and remove them. The cuckoos lay eggs that mimic those of their hosts.

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Scientific classification

Hierococcyx sparverioides

Common names

  • Thai: นกคัคคูเหยี่ยวใหญ่, nok khak-khu yieow yai

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Large hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx sparverioides in Thailand
Range map of Hierococcyx sparverioides in Thailand