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Sirkeer Malkoha - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Jugal Tiwari
Kutch, Gujarat, India, March, 2009

Alternative names: Sirkeer, Sirkeer Cuckoo, Southern Sirkeer

Taccocua leschenaultii

Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii


42cm. Brown and rufous, long heavy tail edged with prominently white tipped graduated cross-rayed tail feathers. Bill is hooked, bright cherry-red and yellow. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller and barred above.


Found in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and India.
Generally uncommon to rare in its range.


Three subspecies recognized:

Placed in genus Taccocua by Dickinson (2003) and Gill & Wright (2008), formerly placed in Phaenicophaeus.


Largely terrestrial, open scrub and thorn jungle, deciduous secondary jungle.
From plains up to 1000m, usually lower.


A terrestrial species, forages mainly on the ground and often runs.


Feeds on large insects. Takes also lizards, berries and fruits.


Breeding season from June to September in India, June to July in Sri Lanka. The nest is a saucer made of twigs and green leaves. It's placed near the ground in a thorn bush. Lays 2 to 3 chalky white eggs. Both sexes incubate.


A resident species.


  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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