Backyard Birds

Lesser Cuckoos (Cuculus poliocephalus)

The Lesser Cuckoos (Cuculus poliocephalus) is also known as Small or Little Cuckoo. Other common names include Petit Coucou (French), Gackelkuckuck (German) and Cuco Chico (Spanish).

The Lesser Cuckoo forms a superspecies with the Madagascar Cuckoo (Cuculus rochii). These two are sometimes being treated as conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species).


The race C. saturatus lepidus (Himalayan Cuckoo) has been placed in the present species, but present evidence does not support that treatment.

Cuculus poliocephalus is monotypic (either a genus consisting of only one species or a species without a sub-species).



It occurs in North Afghanistan, North Pakistan, and Kashmir E through Himalayan foothills to Khasi and Naga Hills, Bangladesh, and N Myanmar, and across China to Ussuriland, Korea, and Japan. This cuckoo winters in peninsular India, Sri Lanka, and East Africa.

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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.

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