Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Common Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) - HBW 4, p. 570

French: Coucou koël German: Indischer Koel Spanish: Koel Común
Other common names: Asian Koel (scolopacea group), Black-billed Koel (melanorhyncha); Australian/Blue-headed Koel (cyanocephala group)

Taxonomy: Cuculus scolopaceus Linnaeus, 1758, Malabar.
Genus name sometimes incorrectly spelt Eudynamis. Australian birds are sometimes treated as a separate species (E. cyanocephala), and black-billed populations of Sulawesi to Moluccas and New Guinea as another (E. melanorhyncha); while both rufiventer and subcyanocephala are present in New Guinea, however, they are not known to breed sympatrically as two distinct species; and two forms (orientalis, ?cyanocephala) occur on Seram, but it is unknown if both breed there; songs and calls appear to be similar for all forms throughout their collective .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Cuculus scolopaceus Linnaeus, 1758, Malabar.
Genus name sometimes incorrectly spelt Eudynamis. Australian birds are sometimes treated as a separate species (E. cyanocephala), and black-billed populations of Sulawesi to Moluccas and New Guinea as another (E. melanorhyncha); while both rufiventer and subcyanocephala are present in New Guinea, however, they are not known to breed sympatrically as two distinct species; and two forms (orientalis, ?cyanocephala) occur on Seram, but it is unknown if both breed there; songs and calls appear to be similar for all forms throughout their collective range. Birds on Andaman and Nicobar Is are sometimes recognized subspecifically (dolosa), being small and female having large rufous spots above, but overlap occurs with malayana of Malaysia and Sumatra. Seventeen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • scolopacea (Linnaeus, 1758) - Nepal, Pakistan and India to Sri Lanka, Laccadives and Maldives.
  • chinensis Cabanis & Heine, 1863 - S China and Indochina; winters S to Borneo.
  • harterti Ingram, 1912 - Hainan.

     See all 17 subspecies
  • scolopacea (Linnaeus, 1758) - Nepal, Pakistan and India to Sri Lanka, Laccadives and Maldives.
  • chinensis Cabanis & Heine, 1863 - S China and Indochina; winters S to Borneo.
  • harterti Ingram, 1912 - Hainan.
  • malayana Cabanis & Heine, 1863 - E India and Bangladesh, through Myanmar, Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia to Andaman and Nicobar Is, Sumatra and Bangka, Borneo and Lesser Sundas (Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores).
  • simalurensis Junge, 1936 - Simeulue and off-lying islands of Kokos and Babi (off NW Sumatra).
  • frater McGregor, 1904 - NE Philippines (Calayan and Fuga).
  • mindanensis (Linnaeus, 1766) - Talaud and Sangihe Is to Philippines (including Palawan).
  • melanorhyncha S. Müller, 1843 - Sulawesi.
  • facialis Wallace, 1863 - Sula Is.
  • corvina Stresemann, 1931 - N Moluccas (Morotai, Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore, Moti, Bacan).
  • orientalis (Linnaeus, 1766) - C Moluccas (Buru, Manipa, Kelang, Seram, Ambon, Tujuh, Watubela).
  • picata S. Müller, 1843 - Kai Is and Sumba to Timor and Roma.
  • rufiventer (Lesson, 1830) - New Guinea.
  • salvadorii Hartert, 1900 - Bismarck Archipelago.
  • alberti Rothschild & Hartert, 1907 - Solomon Is.
  • subcyanocephala Mathews, 1912 - N Australia E to W Queensland; migrant to New Guinea.
  • cyanocephala (Latham, 1801) - N Queensland to New South Wales.