Violet Cuckoo

Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus is a mainly Southeast Asian species. Nominate in western and southern Yunnan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Lowland forests. May parasitize nests of Little Spiderhunter. ID & COMPARISON Male unmistakable, with glossy purple head, throat, upper breast, and upperparts. Rest of underparts white with heavy violet barring. Undertail black with white spots. Female has brownish upperparts slightly tinged green, unlike much greener female Asian Emerald Cuckoo C. maculatus. Brownish-green bands cover entire underparts, including throat. Juvenile has barred head and usually lacks rufous wash on throat. BARE PARTS Bill orange, feet dark. Male has red base to bill and bright red eye-ring. Juvenile has darker bill. VOICE Call two notes, a repeated, shrill whistle, often given during flight. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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