Lesser Cuckoos (Cuculus poliocephalus)

The Lesser Cuckoo (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).

Lesser Cuckoo

The race C. saturatus lepidus (Himalayan Cuckoo) has been placed in 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).

Lesser Cuckoo in flight
Lesser Cuckoos and Distribution Map

Lesser Cuckoo


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.

Lesser Cuckoo
Lesser Cuckoo

Beauty Of Birds strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please contact us. THANK YOU!!!

Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds

Beautyofbirds.com's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.