There are several taxonomic systems around the world. Two of the most
accepted are the International Ornithologists Union (IOC) and Clements. I
use the IOC list. Currently for the Koels they have:
Vigors & Horsfield, 1827
(Linnaeus, 1758) Asian Koel OR widespread, also Lesser Sundas
scolopaceus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Laccadives and Maldives
chinensis Cabanis & Heine, 1863
s China, Indochina to Borneo
harterti Ingram, W, 1912
Hainan (off se China)
malayanus Cabanis & Heine, 1863
ne India and Bangladesh to Sumatra, Borneo and w Lesser Sundas
mindanensis (Linnaeus, 1766)
Palawan and the Philippines to the n Moluccas
Müller, S, 1843 Black-billed Koel AU Sulawesi, Sula Islands.
(Linnaeus, 1766) Pacific Koel AU s Moluccas to n, e Australia.
orientalis (Linnaeus, 1766)
picatus Müller, S, 1843
Sumba to Timor and Kai Is. SSP
rufiventer (Lesson, 1830)
minimus van Oort, 1911
sw New Guinea
hybrida Diamond, 2002
Long I. (off ne New Guinea)
salvadorii Hartert, 1900
alberti Rothschild & Hartert, 1907
cyanocephalus (Latha 1801)
n Queensland to s New South Wales to Moluccas
subcyanocephalus Mathews, 1912
nw Australia to nw Queensland to s Moluccas
So the Koel turning up annually in Victoria these days is Pacific Koel (*E.
orientalis cyanocephalus*) according to IOC 4.4 and Australian Koel (*E.
cyanocephalus cyanocephalus*) according to Clements 6.9.
On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 6:36 AM, Martin Butterfield <>
> I raise this question with great trepidation, but in updating some of my
> records I find that at various times I have called a melodious bird both
> "Common Koel" and "Eastern Koel". BirdLife Australia seem to favour
> Eastern Koel for birdata. On eBird it is called "Australian Koel".
> I realise that there is no 'best' or 'correct' name. As I don't have
> access to Ornithological libraries I wonder if someone on this list can
> tell me the provenance of these various names so that I can decide which
> way to update my records. Default option will be some coin tossing between
> Eastern Koel and Australian Koel..
> Martin Butterfield
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