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Dwarf Koel - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Black-capped Koel

Microdynamis parva




  • Brown upperparts
  • Glossy black crown and malar streak
  • White stripe below eye
  • Rich buff to buffy-white underparts
  • Red eyes
  • Black bill
  • grisescens is much greyer above and on belly and has a rufous-brown breast


  • More grey-brown
  • Whitish stripe below eye
  • Grey throat
  • Red or hazel eye

Juveniles are similar to adult females with some indistinctive barring.

Similar species

Females can be confused with Long-billed Cuckoo, but latter has a much longer bill, lacks the white stripe below the eye and has a blacker head and paler underparts. Asian Koel has similar calls but looks completely different.


New Guinea and some surrounding islands.
Widespread and fairly common in its range.



Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • M. p. grisescens:
  • Northern New Guinea (Humboldt Bay to Kumusi River)
  • M. p. parva:
  • Locally in southern New Guinea and D'Entrecasteaux Archipelago

Some authorities also recognize poecilocercus[3] .


Occurs in monsoon forest, forest eges, secondary and gallery forest and in gardens with tall shade trees.
Found from lowlands up to 1450m.


A rarely seen and poorly known species.


Feeds presumably entirely on fruits.
Forags in subcanopy or canopy. Usually seen in pairs or solitary.


Not much known. Presumably a brood parasite.


Presumably a resident species. However, it has been recorded on Babar, in the Lesser Sundas and on Dauan Island in the Torres Strait.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221
  3. Avibase

Recommended Citation

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