Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Asian emerald cuckoo

Chrysococcyx maculatus, Johann Friedrich Gmelin, 1788

(In Thai: นกคัคคูมรกต)

The Asian emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculatus) is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.


The Asian emerald cuckoo grows to a length of about 18 cm. The adult male has an iridescent dark green head, upper parts and upper breast, a white lower breast and a green barred belly. Bare skin round the eye is orange and the beak is orange/yellow tipped with black. The adult female has coppery-green upper parts, rusty brown crown and nape and green-barred underparts. Both sexes show a white band on the underwing when in flight. The underparts of the juvenile male lack the white lower breast and are more heavily barred. The voice is a “chweek” uttered while flying, and various whistled twitters.

Distribution and habitat

This cuckoo has a breeding range that extends from the Himalayas eastwards to Myanmar, China and northern Thailand. Further south it is a vagrant or migrant in northern India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Sumatra; it is not known to breed in these areas. It frequents forests and woodland margins.


The Asian emerald cuckoo mainly forages in the upper levels of the canopy where it feeds on insects and other small invertebrates, including ants, caterpillars and bugs. It is a brood parasite, the females laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, such as the crimson sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) and the little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra).


C. maculatus has a very wide range but is generally an uncommon species. No particular threats have been recognised and the population is believed to be stable, so the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".

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Category / Seasonal Status

Wiki listed status (concerning Thai population): Resident and winter visitor

BCST Category: Recorded in an apparently wild state within the last 50 years

BCST Seasonal status: Resident or presumed resident

Scientific classification

Chrysococcyx maculatus

Common names

  • Thai: นกคัคคูมรกต

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Chrysococcyx maculatus on branch
Asian emerald cuckoo (male)

Copyright kajornyot

Asian emerald cuckoo (male)
Asian emerald cuckoo

Range Map

Distribution map of Asian emerald cuckoo, Chrysococcyx maculatus in Thailand
  • Bangkok Province
  • Chae Son National Park
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Khun Tan National Park
  • Doi Lang
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Phu Kha National Park
  • Doi Suthep - Pui National Park
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Khao Khiao - Khao Chomphu Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Khitchakut National Park
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khun Phawo National Park
  • Lam Nam Kok National Park
  • Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai
  • Mae Moei National Park
  • Mae Ping National Park
  • Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Op Khan National Park
  • Pak Kret District, Nonthaburi
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Phu Chi Fa Forest Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Suan Sai National Park
  • Phu Toei National Park
  • Phutthamonthon District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Taksin Maharat National Park
  • Tat Mok National Park
  • Thale Ban National Park
  • Thap Lan National Park
  • Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-Hunting Area
Range map of Chrysococcyx maculatus in Thailand