13 September 2022

Pied Cuckoo

Whilst birding the southwest this summer I came across a number of Pied Cuckoos. This species like most Cuckoos lays its eggs in the nest of a host species, babbler or bulbul, which then unknowingly raises the cuckoo chick as if it were one of its own. The species is migratory, breeding in sub-Saharan Africa, southwestern Arabia, southern Iran and from India to Myanmar. Most winter around the African equator or southern India. It has a status in Saudi Arabia as a scarce breeding migrant and is usually found below 1000 m in steep dry valleys with scattered bushes and trees in the lower foothills, or in acacia scrub in the Tihama. It can, however, be seen in the mountains of the Asir as well in very small numbers in the summer. I have never managed to get good photos of this species and this trip proved no different with the below the best I could manage.