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Little Cuckoo-Dove - BirdForum Opus

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Photo © by the late Dr Manjeet Singh
Fraser's Hill, Malaysia, 13 August 2006

Includes Eucalypt Cuckoo Dove

Macropygia ruficeps


30cm (11¾ in)
Orange rufous head, broad rufous scaling on upperparts and pale orange rufous underparts.
Female: duller then male with black scaling on upper breast.
Bill pink brown and legs red in both sexes.


Southeast Asia to Greater and Lesser Sundas. Uncommon.


Includes at least one undescribed taxon, "Eucalypt Cuckoo Dove" [2].


Clements recognises 8 subspecies [1]:

  • M. r. assimilis: South Myanmar, North West Thailand and extreme south-western China (Yunnan).
  • M. r. engelbachi: North West Vietnam (west Tonkin) and north Laos.
  • M. r. malayana: Malay Peninsula
  • M. r. simalurensis: Simeulue Island (off Sumatra).
  • M. r. sumatrana: Sumatra.
  • M. r. nana: Borneo and Sibatik Island.
  • M. r. ruficeps: Java and Bali.
  • M. r. orientalis: Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Flores, Sumba, Pantar and Timor.

In addition, "Eucalypt Cuckoo Dove" is currently subsumed under ssp. orientalis which it resembles. This is an undescribed taxon with a very different call. It is probably a different species and occurs on Alor, Sumba, Timor and Wetar [2].


Evergreen broadleaf forest.


Ground feeder.


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Eaton, JA, B van Balen, NW Brickle, FE Rheindt 2021. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago (Greater Sundas and Wallacea), Second Edition. Lynx Editions. ISBN978-84-16728-44-2

Recommended Citation

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