Cuckoo-shrikes (Campephagidae)

Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina melanoptera) - HBW 10, p. 97

French: Échenilleur à tête noire German: Schwarzkopf-Raupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero Cabecinegro
Other common names: Large Grey Cuckoo-shrike

Taxonomy: Ceblepyris melanoptera Rüppell, 1839, New Holland?; error = Bhadwar, Kangra District, Punjab, India.
Type specimen not correctly described until 1951; species was formerly referred to as C. sykesi. Was in the past sometimes considered conspecific with C. melaschistos or C. fimbriata. Relatively fine bill and colour of upperparts suggest that the three are possibly linked also with African C. graueri and Madagascan C. cinerea. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • melanoptera (Rüppell, 1839) - NW India (Himachal Pradesh, N Uttar Pradesh).
  • sykesi (Strickland, 1844) - S Nepal, India (E Rajasthan, Gujarat and NC Uttar Pradesh E to Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, S to Kerala and Tamil Nadu), Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; non-breeding E to W & SW Myanmar.