Birda Logo
Features
Birda+
About
Species Guide
Challenges
Shop
loading...
A photo of a Violet Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus), male
Violet Cuckoo, Male

Violet Cuckoo

Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus

The Violet Cuckoo, known scientifically as Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus, is a striking bird with sexual dimorphism in its plumage. The male boasts a resplendent glossy violet sheen on its head and upper body, with a blackish tail featuring a white tip and barred outer feathers. Its chin and upper breast shimmer with an iridescent violet, while the belly is white with bold bars of black, green, or violet. A distinctive red eye-ring adorns the mature males. In contrast, the female is clad in mottled greenish-bronze with a dark brown crown, white eye markings, and a breast of whitish hue with bronze-green bars.

Identification Tips

To identify the Violet Cuckoo, look for the male's glossy violet feathers and the iridescent throat patch, which is a reddish violet, distinguishing it from the closely related C. amethystinus with a glossy blue-violet throat. Females are recognized by their greenish-bronze upper parts and barred tail feathers. Juveniles display a mix of rufous and greenish bronze on their upper parts and a barred brown and rufous tail.

Habitat

This species thrives in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, as well as mangrove forests. It can also be found in human-altered landscapes such as gardens, orchards, and rubber plantations.

Distribution

The Violet Cuckoo's range extends from north-eastern India through Southeast Asia to the Greater Sundas, Palawan, and the Philippines. While southern populations are resident, those in the north, including Assam and Bangladesh, are migratory.

Behaviour

Insectivorous by nature, the Violet Cuckoo also partakes in fruit. It exhibits a unique behavior of shaking hairy caterpillars to expel their stomach contents before consumption. These birds forage by creeping along branches or capturing prey mid-flight. During the breeding season, males become vocal and active to attract mates, while females discreetly search for host nests to lay their eggs.

Breeding

As brood parasites, Violet Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, particularly sunbirds and spiderhunters. The host species may chase away adult cuckoos but fail to recognize the foreign eggs in their nests.

Similar Species

The Violet Cuckoo can be confused with the closely related species C. amethystinus, but can be differentiated by the color of the throat patch.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists primarily of insects and fruit, with a noted behavior of preparing hairy caterpillars for consumption by removing their stomach contents.

Conservation status

The IUCN lists the Violet Cuckoo as Least Concern due to its wide range. However, there are indications that habitat loss may pose a threat in certain areas of its distribution.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Violet Cuckoos on Birda

Sightings
A map showing the sighting location
Profile picture for Qian Xun Lim
Qian Xun Lim
30 Apr 2023 - 6:22am
Malaysia

More Cuckoos

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
Madstherangers
A mordern game changer
Birda is an awesome app, its updated the world of birding to the modern day with a fun and easy to use app. It’s engaging and allows positive interaction with fellow bird lovers!
Erna M
I really like Birda
I really like Birda. I also use other birding apps and have Birda with E-bird going at the same time.
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❤️
Trevarthen1
Birda fan
I really enjoy using Birda, all sightings are recorded and photos can be added. There are monthly challenges which help to get you out to record your sightings. The Birda community are great and are happy to help with unidentified bird sightings. Suitable for all ages and experience!
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
778
Great bird recording
For a while I’ve been trying to find an app to easily record bird lists and day out and struggled to find one that I like. Birda is great for this, straightforward and a great community!
Abi.M
Awesome App
I really enjoy using this app! It is such a friendly community of bird-lovers who are happy to help if I need ID advice. It’s been great motivation to get outdoors and go birding more! 10/10 😍😍
Jake W
Great app
I use this app all the time as it’s quick and easy to log individual sightings or whole birding sessions. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and the forum is full of really friendly people. The challenges are a great way to get involved and learn more about birds. Cannot recommend it enough!
Emcil24
A Friendly Place
I love using the bird app, I have a pretty good knowledge of birds. But I do have some gaps in it, so it’s nice to have a safe space to check on a sighting to confirm the species. It’s really enjoyable and I love the badges you can collect. It’s like a real life Pokémon go.
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.