Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Large Cuckooshrike (Coracina javensis)


French: Échenilleur de Java German: Javaraupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero de Java

Ceblephyris [sic] Javensis


, 1821,



Hitherto considered conspecific with C. macei. Moreover, commonly treated as two species, nominate being one and all other taxa grouping under “C. nipalensis”; vocally, however, nominate is very similar to races nipalensis and siamensis, so basis for maintaining it as a separate species is, on present evidence, weak. Some authors#R treat race larutensis as a full species. Intriguingly, this race (often subject of speculation as to which species it belonged when C. javensis was separated from “C. nipalensis”/C. macei) is relatively distinctive in both plumage and voice: differs from both others in its shorter, higher and sonographically different-shaped calls#R, and from “C. nipalensis” (minus C. macei) in its primaries and wing-coverts lacking pale fringes, forming a bold black “line” when wing folded, darker upperparts, most notably on rump, although vs siamensis this character minor, and weaker, less extensive barring on belly in female; and from C. javensis in its overall darker grey colour with (in male) much darker chin and throat, more extensively grey vs largely white lower belly (more obvious in male), browner, darker shade of grey on throat and breast in female. Race rexpineti, surprisingly, has voice that resembles more that of C. striata, but voice of mainland Chinese birds apparently unknown. Further research needed on this complex. Seven subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. j. nipalensis (Hodgson, 1836) – Large Cuckooshrike – Himalayas from NE Pakistan (rare), Uttarakhand and W Nepal E to NE India (W Assam) and Bangladesh.
  • C. j. siamensis (E. C. S. Baker, 1918) – Myanmar, S China (S Guizhou, W, NW & S Yunnan), Thailand (S to Isthmus of Kra) and S Indochina.
  • C. j. rexpineti (Swinhoe, 1863) – SE China (Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian), Taiwan, N Laos and N Vietnam.
  • C. j. larvivora (E. J. O. Hartert, 1910) – Hainan I.
  • C. j. andamana (Neumann, 1915) – Andaman Is.
  • C. j. larutensis (Sharpe, 1887) – Malay Cuckooshrike – Peninsular Malaysia (from N Perak S to S Selangor and Pahang).
  • C. j. javensis (Horsfield, 1821) – Javan Cuckooshrike – Java and Bali.
  • Descriptive notes

    28 cm. Male has head and upperparts, including lesser upperwing-coverts, lead-grey; narrow frontal band, lores, face to ear-coverts and above eye, and chin and upper throat,... read more


    Loud, piercing whistle, “pee-eeo-pee-eeo”, and “tweer” or “twee-eet”.


    Open forest, including forest edge and edges of clearings, and savanna. Lowlands, to 1500 m.

    Food and feeding

    No information on diet; probably similar to that of C. macei. Forages in tops of tallest trees, often at edges of clearings.


    No information.


    None recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Not well known. Was regarded as widespread and fairly common in 1990s. Occurs in Baluran National Park, in Java.

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). Large Cuckooshrike (Coracina javensis). 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 17 February 2020).