Plaintive Cuckoo

Scientific Name: Cacomantis merulinus
Malay Name: Matinak Biasa
Chinese Name: 八声杜鹃

Found from the north-eastern India to Bangladesh, southern China and Southeast Asia

Polytypic. Subspecies are: querulus, threnodes, lanceolatus, merulinus.

Local Subspecies: threnodes

Size: 21.5-23.5 cm

Adult resembles Rusty-breasted Cuckoo but has greyish eyering, head, throat and upper breast with remaining underparts peachy-rufous throat. Juvenile resembles Rusty-breasted Cuckoo but has greyish eyering and finer blackish barrings on underparts.

Similar looking species: Banded Bay Cuckoo, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo

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

Behaviour/Ecology: Known to brood parasite on Ashy Tailorbirds in Singapore.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, former Bidadari Cemetery, Chinese/Japanese Gardens, Lorong Halus, Punggol Barat, Jurong Eco Garden, Tampines Eco Green, Pasir Ris Park, Neo Tiew Lane 2, Tuas South and Pulau Ubin.

Featured articles:

BirdLife International. (2016). Cacomantis merulinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.