Large Hawk-Cuckoo

Scientific Name: Hierococcyx sparverioides

Malay Name: Sewah-Tekukur Besar

Chinese Name: 大鹰鹃

Range: Found from the Indian subcontinent to southern China, Indochina and discontinuously to Sumatra and Borneo with some northern populations wintering to Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 38-41.5 cm

Identification: Adult is distinctively larger than the other two Hawk-Cuckoo species and has slaty-grey head, brownish-grey upperparts, rufous breast-patch, whitish rest of underparts with dark bars and long tail with broad dark tail-bands. Juvenile resembles adult but has darker brown upperparts with rufous bars, pale rufous nape with dark brown streaks and whitish underparts with bold dark brown drop-like streaks on breast.

Similar looking species: Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo, Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo

Habitat: Forest, forest edge, mangroves, parks and gardens.


Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, former Bidadari Cemetery, Chinese/Japanese Gardens, Pasir Ris Park, Tuas South and Pulau Ubin.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Dec 24-Dec 30
Early date 28 Sep 2019
Late date 30 Apr 2020
Scarce yet regular winter visitor, with several sightings in wooded areas each year.


BirdLife International. (2016). Hierococcyx sparverioides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Yong, D. L. (2008). Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo: A Birder’s Nightmare. Singapore Avifauna, 22(1), 12–17.

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