Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Sirkeer Malkoha (Taccocua leschenaultii)


French: Malcoha sirkir German: Sirkarkuckuck Spanish: Malcoha sirkir

Taccocua Leschenaultii


, 1830,

Madras, India


Sometimes lumped into Phaenicophaeus. Proposed form vantynei (from Saurashtra, in W India) subsumed within sirkee, and affinis (NE India) synonymized with infuscata. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. l. sirkee (J. E. Gray, 1831) – Pakistan (Sind, Punjab) and NW India.
  • T. l. infuscata Blyth, 1845 – India in sub-Himalayan terai and duars from Kumaon through Nepal to West Bengal#R, and S to SC Maharashtra and N Andhra Pradesh.
  • T. l. leschenaultii Lesson, 1830 – S India and Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    43 cm; 174 g. Adult sandy-rufous above with black shaft streaks to head and breast, long tail blackish brown with broad white tips on outer feathers, inner rectrices unmarked... read more


    Silent; occasional shriek, “kek-kek-kek-kerek-kerek”.


    Dry deciduous secondary forest, scrub and bush, with undergrowth of lantana and thick grass, thorn... read more

    Food and feeding

    Large insects, grasshoppers, mantids, caterpillars, termites, also lizards, berries, fruits. Terrestrial, feeds mainly on ground, often... read more


    Breeds mainly Jun–Sept in India, Jun–Jul in Sri Lanka. Nest a saucer of twigs lined with green leaves, near ground. Eggs 2... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally a rather rare species; uncommon in S India. Its range extends from lowlands to foothills, to the level where tea and rubber plantations... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Sirkeer Malkoha (Taccocua leschenaultii). 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 25 February 2020).