Plaintive Cuckoo

Scientific Name: Cacomantis merulinus

Malay Name: Matinak Biasa

Chinese Name: 八声杜鹃

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

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

Local Subspecies: threnodes

Size: 21.5-23.5 cm

Identification: 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: Common 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.


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.

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