Black-winged Cuckooshrike

Adutlt male

The black-winged cuckooshrike (Lalage melaschistos) is an overall sooty colored cuckooshrike. It is mostly grey, but the wings are more black, lightening at the very edges of the feathers. Juveniles and females have slightly barred breasts, while males are solid grey.

Black-winged cuckooshrikes breed throughout eastern China and winter in northern India and the Southeast Asian mainland. A resident population occurs throughout the Himalayas through to Hainan.

In Hong Kong, they appear mainly in mature secondary forests as migrants and visitors. I recorded one in Tai Po Kau in February 2020, and found another in September 2020, which is a bit early.

They mainly eat insects such as caterpillars and beetles, and I have even witnessed one eating a praying mantis. Black-winged cuckooshrikes are more solitary than other members of their family found in Hong Kong, such as scarlet minivets, occurring primarily either alone, in small pairs. They will, however, feed in mixed flocks.