Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Barred cuckoo-dove

Macropygia unchall, Johann Georg Wagler, 1827

(In Thai: นกเขาลายใหญ่)

The barred cuckoo-dove (Macropygia unchall) is a bird species in the family Columbidae. It is native to South and Southeast Asia, and listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.


German herpetologist Johann Georg Wagler first described the barred cuckoo-dove in 1827. It has three recognized subspecies:

  • M. u. tusalia (Blyth, 1843)
  • M. u. minor (Swinhoe, 1870)
  • M. u. unchall (Wagler, 1827)


The barred cuckoo-dove has a buff coloured throat and forehead which becomes pinkish grey at the crown. measures 37 to 41 cm in length, and weighs 153 to 182 g. Its iris is yellow or pale brown, the beak is black and short, and the feet are red. It has blackish brown upperparts. The back, mantle (between the nape and the starting of the back), rump, wing coverts, and scapulars have reddish brown fringes. The tail is blackish brown, and is heavily barred reddish brown.

It is similar to the little cuckoo-dove, but it is much larger and darker, and is black-barred on the mantle, breast, coverts, and tail.

Distribution and habitat

The barred cuckoo-dove occurs from the Himalayas to Southeast Asia. It inhabits dense subtropical woodlands at altitudes of 800 to 3000 m from sea level, on montane slopes. It prefers clearings and edges of old-growth forests and second growth forests.

Behavior and ecology

The barred cuckoo-dove lives in small flocks.

It has a loud kro-uum or u-va vocalization, in which the second note is louder than the first.

Status and conservation

Since 1998, the barred cuckoo-dove has been listed least concern on the IUCN Red List, because it has a large range—more than 20, 000 km2 (7, 700 mi2) and the population trend is stable. Also, although its population numbers have not been determined, it is thought to comprise more than 10, 000 individuals.

Local names

The Lepcha people of Sikkim call it.

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Category / Seasonal Status

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

BCST Seasonal status: Resident or presumed resident

Scientific classification

Macropygia unchall

Common names

  • English: Barred cuckoo-dove
  • Thai: นกเขาลายใหญ่

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Barred cuckoo-dove

Range Map

Distribution map of Barred cuckoo-dove, Macropygia unchall in Thailand
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lang
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Phu Kha National Park
  • Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Suthep - Pui National Park
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khun Nan National Park
  • Mae Charim National Park
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Pa Sang District, Lamphun
  • Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Suan Sai National Park
  • Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary
Range map of Macropygia unchall in Thailand