Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Dark Hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx bocki)


French: Coucou de Bock German: Sperberkuckuck Spanish: Cuco oscuro

Hierococcyx bocki


, 1886,

Mt Sago, western Sumatra


Usually treated as conspecific with H. sparverioides, but separated by some recent authors#R on the basis of different voice (allow 3), smaller size (wing much shorter, with no overlap; assume score 2), and plumage differences in both adults (dark face and darker overall plumage) and juveniles (at least 2). Thought to be sister to a clade formed by H. sparverioides and H. varius#R. Monotypic.


Mountains of Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.

Descriptive notes

30–32 cm. Adult has upperparts blackish slate-grey, wings dark brown with broad whitish bars on inner webs of remiges, dark brown tail barred narrowly with black and broadly... read more


Male gives 6–8 deliberately spaced, powerful and increasingly emphatic bisyllabic calls (... read more


Lower and tall upper montane forest, in edge and interior canopy, as well as pine plantations on... read more

Food and feeding

Diet reported to include caterpillars, orthopterans, beetles, bugs, cockroaches, ants, spiders, birds’ eggs, berries and other fruit.... read more


Seasonality (and all aspects of breeding) very poorly known, but fledglings reported in Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo in mid Jun and mid... read more


None known; presumed to be sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Is considered to be more or less common in Peninsular Malaysia and locally on Borneo. Known from several protected areas within range, including... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Dark Hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx bocki). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).