Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) - HBW 4, p. 554

French: Coucou gris German: Kuckuck Spanish: Cuco Común
Other common names: (Grey/European/Eurasian) Cuckoo

Taxonomy: Cuculus canorus Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Forms a superspecies with C. gularis, with which formerly considered conspecific. Populations of C Asia (Russian Altai and E Sinkiang through Mongolia to N & C China) sometimes separated subspecifically as telephonus on the basis of size (smaller than subtelephonus) and pale plumage (like subtelephonus), but birds in this area are not constant in these characters and overlap with other races occurs; range limits of nominate and race subtelephonus in C Asia rather unclear. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • bangsi Oberholser, 1919 - Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Is, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia; winters in Africa.
  • canorus Linnaeus, 1758 - British Is and Scandinavia E through N Russia and Siberia to Kamchatka and Japan, and S to Pyrenees and Mediterranean, Asia Minor and N Iran, Turkmenia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, N China and Korea; winters in Africa and S Asia.
  • subtelephonus Zarudny, 1914 - C Asia from Turkestan to W Ala Shan in S Mongolia; winters in S Asia and Africa.
  • bakeri Hartert, 1912 - W China (W Sichuan) to Himalayan foothills in N India, Nepal, Khasi Hills, Myanmar (including Shan States), NW Thailand and S China; winters to Assam, E Bengal and SE Asia.