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Madagascar Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Madagascar Lesser Cuckoo

Cuculus rochii


  • Slate-grey above
  • Black tail and uppertail-coverts
  • Tail with white tip and white spots at sindes
  • Bend of wing below grey-barred white
  • Light grey throat and breast
  • White belly with black bars
  • Usually unbarred undertail-coverts
  • Yellow eye-ring
  • Black bill with yellow base (broader at base than in Lesser Cuckoo)
  • Yellow feet

Sexes similar, no rufous morph known.

Similar species

Very similar to the Lesser Cuckoo; probably not always safely distinguished in the field. Thin bars, weakly marked undertails and a pale head are good features for Madagascar Cuckoo.


Breeds in Madagascar and migrates to eastern Africa in the southern winter.
Common in its breeding range.


This is a monotypic species[1].
Forms a superspecies with Lesser Cuckoo and is sometimes regarded conspecific.


Forest, gallery forest, plantations, woodland, subdesert woodland and marshes. Occurs from sea-level up to 1800m.


Feeds on insects.
Breeding season from October to April. A brood-parasitic. Recorded hosts are Madagascar Cisticola, Common Jery, Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher and Madagascar Sunbird.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221

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