Birda Logo
Species Guide

Grey-bellied Cuckoo

Cacomantis passerinus

The Grey-bellied Cuckoo, or the Indian Plaintive Cuckoo, is a modestly sized member of the cuckoo family, measuring approximately 23 centimeters in length. The adult's plumage is predominantly grey, with a distinctive white lower belly and undertail. A notable white patch adorns the wings. In contrast, some females exhibit a dark-barred reddish-brown coloration above, an unbarred tail, and strikingly dark-barred whitish underparts. Juveniles bear a resemblance to the female but present a more subdued grey hue.

Identification Tips

To identify the Grey-bellied Cuckoo, look for its grey upperparts and white underbelly. The white wing patch is a key feature, along with the unbarred tail in females. Juveniles and females can be distinguished by their duller grey and dark-barred underparts, respectively.


This species shows a preference for light woodland and cultivated areas, where it can often be found during its breeding season.


The Grey-bellied Cuckoo has a broad range across tropical southern Asia, from India and Sri Lanka to southern China and Indonesia. It is known to inhabit countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The bird is a short-distance migrant, with populations in the north and at higher elevations moving to warmer areas during the winter months.


The Grey-bellied Cuckoo is a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the nests of warblers. It is known for its persistent and loud vocalizations, often accompanied by a characteristic tail movement, with the tail being held in a depressed position.

Song & Calls

The call of the Grey-bellied Cuckoo is a distinctive and repetitive pee-pip-pee-pee, which can be heard across its habitat.

Diet and Feeding

Its diet is composed of a variety of insects and caterpillars, which it actively forages for.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Grey-bellied Cuckoo as Least Concern, indicating that, currently, there are no immediate threats to its population numbers that would warrant a higher risk category.

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

Grey-bellied Cuckoos on Birda


More Cuckoos

A photo of a Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)

Fan-tailed Cuckoo

Cacomantis flabelliformis
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
Paul F
Very good database
Highly recommend. It great that this app shows you male Vs female variations when posting. Very good database I'm really impressed.
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
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.
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
Fantastic app - Love it!
Love this app and have used it almost daily. Lots of species information and easy to use. Love seeing birds spotted by other users in the UK and worldwide.
Louise L
Easy to use and accurate
Love this app. It is easy to use and accurate, Their backup communication is really good. I noted a missing species. All through the process, I was kept informed about the progress in correcting the information. I now have the corrected, updated version. 😁 Thanks!
Love Birda
I love this app. It really encourages you to log your sightings and the community is friendly and helpful.
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
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!
Fantastic App
This is a really lovely app, for everyone interested in birds - from newbies to old hands. There is a very friendly feel to the community and you will genuinely learn a lot as you record your sightings and photos. There are lots of badges and competitions to keep you engaged, and a host of really useful features.
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright Β© 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.