In part "Philip Griffin" <> to: "birding-aus"
<> April 22, 2006 said:
'I've noticed that a paper from last year
King. 2005. Bull. Brit. Ornithol. Cl. 125(1):48-55
elevates the 3 former subspecies of Oriental Cuckoo to species status.
King uses the names Himalayan Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus), Sunda Cuckoo
(Cuculus lepidus) [resident Malaya, Greater & Lesser Sundas] and
Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus horsfieldi).
O.K., so that means Cuculus saturatus, Cuculus lepidus &
and Cuculus optatus.
But does King imply that both saturatus and optatus (although he calls it
horsfieldi) winter in Australia?
"C.(s.) horsfieldi and C.(s.) saturatus winter from southern India
east and south to New Guinea and Australia."
And does that mean there are 2 species of "Oriental Cuckoo" in Australia?'
Well, on current evidence as I read it and recalling advice received some years
ago from Danny Rogers, it does or 'probably' does!
Danny is the person to answer this but as he is away overseas I'll try this!
Under 'Recognition' HANZAB IV p.661, says Oriental Cuckoo C.(s.) optatus is the
common taxon in Australia but at least 2 specimens, both females, are
considered to be C.(s.) saturatus, (Himalayan Cuckoo). But the final statement
'probably occur occasionally in Aust.', is less positive. So how to tell them
apart? As far as I know, only by call and a slight difference in size.
Himalayan is smaller.
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