Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Little cuckoo-dove

Macropygia ruficeps

Coenraad Jacob Temminck, 1834

In Thai: นกเขาลายเล็ก

The little cuckoo-dove (Macropygia ruficeps) is a species of bird in the family Columbidae. It is a reddish brown pigeon, and is found in Brunei, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is rated as a species of least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Endangered Species.


The little cuckoo-dove is a reddish brown pigeon, measuring 27 to 30 cm in length, and weighing 74 to 88 g. It has cinnamon buff plumage. It has greyish white irides. The beak is brown, and has a black tip. The feet are coral red in colour. The tail is long, and it differentiates the little cuckoo-dove from other sympatric (species existing in the same geographic area and thus frequently encountering one another) pigeons.

Distribution and habitat

The little cuckoo-dove is found in evergreen hill forests and forest peripheries, in the north of its range. Southwards, it is found in drier forests and in adjacent areas of second-growth forests. It is also found in cultivated areas. It is commonly found in submontane habitats at elevations of 300 to 2000 m above sea level. It has also been recorded at heights of at least 3000 m from sea level on Mount Kinabulu, and sometimes at sea level.

Status and conservation

Since 1998, the little cuckoo-dove has been rated as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. This is because it has a large range—more than 20, 000 km2 (7, 700 mi2)—and because it has a stable population trend. Also, although its population numbers have not been determined, they are thought to be above 10, 000, which is above the criterion to warrant a vulnerable rating. It is described to be common in the southern part of its range, and uncommon in the northern part of its range. It is thought to have no major threats.

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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 ruficeps

Common names

  • English: Little cuckoo-dove
  • Thai: นกเขาลายเล็ก

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Little cuckoo-dove
Little cuckoo-dove

Range Map

Distribution map of Little cuckoo-dove, Macropygia ruficeps in Thailand
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lang
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Suthep - Pui National Park
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Nong Ya Plong District, Phetchaburi
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Suan Sai National Park
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary
Range map of Macropygia ruficeps in Thailand