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Long-tailed Koel - BirdForum Opus

Photo by martinuk
Haast Pass, Otago, South Island, New Zealand

Alternative names: Long-tailed Cuckoo; Pacific Long-tailed Cuckoo

Urodynamis taitensis

Eudynamys taitensis


15–16.5 in (38–42 cm), 0.24 lb (120 g). Male, long-tailed, rufous-barred brown above, head blackish; below, white to rufous, iris yellow, bill yellow-horn, nostril slit-like. Females more rufous.


Breeds in New Zealand, Kapiti, Great and Little Barrier, Stewart and Chatham Islands and Kermadecs.
Migrates to Oceania, found in non-breeding season in Palau, Carolines and Marshalls through Fiji, Tonga and Samoa to Cook, Society Islands, Marquesas and Pitcairn Islands. Also on Bismarck Archipelago, Solomons, Vanuatu, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island and on various other islands.
Population decreasing due to loss of habitat and decrease of host species.


This is a monotypic species which some authorities place in genus Eudynamys. Originally: Cuculus taitensis Sparrman, 1787, Tahiti.


Forest and scrub.



Feeds on insects. Takes also crabs, lizards, eggs and nestling birds.


A brood parasite. Breeding season from November to December. Known hosts are Yellowhead, Whitehead and Pipipi. The nestling evicts the other eggs and youngs.


A long-distance migrant.
Arrives in breeding are in October, departs in January or February. Immatures stay in non-breeding areas, they return to New Zealand in their second year.


  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

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