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Horsfield's Cuckoo (1 Viewer)

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
Can anyone tell me what happened to what used to be called Horsfield's Cuckoo, Cuculus horsfieldi? It is listed in the last printed edition of Clements but the present versions of both eBird/Clements and the IOC list don't contain anything obviously connected. I usually take note of any published changes but must have missed this one.

Steve
 

Paul Clapham

Well-known member
The short answer is that it's now known as Oriental Cuckoo, Cuculus optatus. According to Avibase, horsfieldi is a junior synonym of optatus.


However when I look back at old lists (e.g. Clements from 2000) I see that Cuculus saturatus used to be known as Oriental Cuckoo, whereas it's now known as Himalayan Cuckoo. Clements made that change in 2007 when the 6th edition was published (see page 153).
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
Thanks Paul - that sorts it out.
My Clements is the 2000 version: amazing how much has changed in 20 years.
 

MJB

Well-known member
I'll stick with Horsfield's
Adam, there are a couple of difficulties behind the English name change. Howard & Moore 4th Edition noted that optatus antedates horsfieldi. There is an absence of defined breeding distributions for some optatus & saturatus populations and so we may yet see Horsfield's Cuckoo C.[s.] horsfieldi revived for some of those.

From Clive Mann's monograph on Old World Cuckoos, examination of specimens suggests some early misidentifications, thus perpetuating distributional errors (Clive Mann pers comm).

However, Horsfield's name still exists among the cuckoos - Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis in Australia...
MJB
 

jalid

Well-known member
From Clive Mann's monograph on Old World Cuckoos,
You probably mean Cuckoos of the World by Erritzøe, Mann, Brammer and Fuller.

Cuculus horsfieldi was a split from Cuculus saturatus. After the split, optatus was thought to be a junior synonym of saturatus (for example, HBW) but it proved to be a senior synonym of horsfieldi (later works). Name horsfieldi is from Java and optatus from Australia, so both from wintering or passage areas.
 

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