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Moustached Hawk-Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Photo by James Eaton
Kinabatangan,Sabah,Malaysia, October 2008

Alternative names: Lesser Hawk-Cuckoo; Small Hawk-Cuckoo; Dwarf Hawk-Cuckoo

Hierococcyx vagans

Cuculus vagans



  • Dark brown upperparts
  • Dark grey crown
  • Whitish cheek and throat
  • Broad black moustache
  • Grey and black barred tail
  • Lighter brown barred wings
  • Pale patch in wings in flight
  • Whitish underparts with dark streaks

Sexes similar. Juveniles have a brown crown.


From southern Burma and southern Thailand south through peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra and Borneo. Records from southern Laos, vagrant in Java.
Uncommon in Thailand, rare in Sumatra and Borneo.


This is a monotypic species.
Some authorities place this species in genus Cuculus.


Moist lowland forests, prefers lower hill slopes and lowlands, bamboo forest and alluvial forest. Up to 900m in Thailand.



Feeds on insects.


Juveniles were seen in Malaysia in July. A brood parasitic, host species unknown. No other information about breeding.


Partially migratory, some populations resident. No precise information.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  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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