Backyard Birds

Himalayan Cuckoos aka Oriental Cuckoos

The Himalayan Cuckoos (Cuculus saturatus) or “Oriental Cuckoo” was for long a species of cuckoo found all over Asia. These birds breed in northern Eurasia and the Himalayas, migrating to Southeast Asia and the Greater Sunda Islands for the winter, where an all-year resident population also exists.

More recently, it was determined that this “species” constitutes of three distinct lineages:

  • Himalayan Cuckoos, Cuculus (saturatus) saturatus
  • Oriental Cuckoos proper, Cuculus (saturatus) optatus
  • Sunda Cuckoo, Cuculus (saturatus) lepidus

These are usually seen as distinct species nowadays. As the type specimen of the former “Oriental” Cuckoo is a bird of the Himalayan population, the name saturatus applies to the Himalayan Cuckoo if it is considered a species.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button