Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Lesser cuckoo

Thai: นกคัคคูเล็ก, nok khak-khu lek

Binomial name: Cuculus poliocephalus, John Aubrey Clarendon Latham, 1790

The lesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus) is a species of cuckoo in the Cuculidae family.

It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In Japan, the bird is called and is frequently praised for its song, and ranked as her favorite bird by Sei Shonagon in her account of court life in Heian Japan, The Pillow Book. It is also a pivotal image in poem 81 of the Hyakunin Isshu poetry anthology.

In Korean literature, song of lesser cuckoo represents sound of sadness.

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Scientific classification

Cuculus poliocephalus

Common names

  • Thai: นกคัคคูเล็ก, nok khak-khu lek

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

No photo for this species yet

Range map of Cuculus poliocephalus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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