Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Indian Cuckooshrike (Coracina macei)


French: Échenilleur de Macé German: Maskenraupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero indio
Other common names: Large Cuckooshrike (when lumped with C. javensis)

Graucalus Macei


, 1831,

Calcutta, India


Hitherto considered conspecific with “C. nipalensis” (when this was split from C. javensis), although separation recently mooted#R; differs in its barring on lower breast and belly in male (3); barring on entire underparts up to chin in female (vague in other taxa, which in any case have grey chin to breast) (2); seemingly smaller size than all other taxa (at least 1); and different voice (here assuming that unsampled layardi resembles nominate), reaching higher frequencies (at least 2) and having a predominantly rising note shape vs fairly flat or up-and-down plateau (1)#R. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. macei (Lesson, 1831) – C & S India from Uttarakhand E to West Bengal and Odisha, S to Travancore.
  • C. m. layardi (Blyth, 1866) – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–30 cm. Very large cuckoo-shrike with massive, hooked bill. Male nominate race has upperparts, including upperwing-coverts, grey, paler on rump and uppertail-coverts... read more


    Very noisy. Song (rarely heard) a quaint, melodious warble. Calls include loud, ringing parrot-like... read more


    Open, light woodland and secondary forest, including teak (Tectona), pine (Pinus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats large insects and their larvae, including mantids (Mantidae), weevils (Curculionidae), bugs (Hemiptera) and crickets (Gryllidae); also... read more


    Jan–Nov; May–Jun in Andaman Is, Apr–May in Myanmar and Mar–Apr in Peninsular Malaysia; apparently two breeding... read more


    In Himalayas and peninsular India, subject to local migrations in non-breeding season; also locally... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rare in Himalayas of NE Pakistan and uncommon in Bhutan, but fairly common to common in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; common to fairly... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). Indian Cuckooshrike (Coracina macei). 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 27 January 2020).