Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus


Taxonomic note
Cuculus saturatus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously split as C. saturatus and C. optatus following Payne (2005). Prior to that, C. lepidus (Payne 2005, del Hoyo and Collar 2014), C. saturatus and C. optatus had been lumped as C. saturatus following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2019 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2014 Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 35,300,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 30,600,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 5000000-14999999 not applicable estimated 2012
Population trend Stable suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 7 - - -

Population justification: The global population size has not been quantified, though in Europe the population is estimated at 250,000-700,000 calling or lekking males, which equates to 500,000-1,400,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.10% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 5,000,000-14,000,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population is therefore placed in the band 5,000,000-14,999,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The European population is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Australia N Extant Yes
Cambodia N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes Yes
Finland N Extant Yes
Indonesia N Extant Yes Yes
Japan N Extant Yes Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Laos N Extant Yes
Malaysia N Extant Yes
Micronesia, Federated States of N Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes
New Zealand N Extant Yes
North Korea N Extant Yes
Palau N Extant Yes
Papua New Guinea N Extant Yes
Philippines N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Solomon Islands N Extant Yes
South Korea N Extant Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Thailand N Extant Yes
USA V Extant
Vietnam N Extant Yes Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Russia (European) Central Forest Biosphere Reserve and adjacent areas
Russia (European) Pechoro-Ilychski Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Kamsko-Bakaldinskiye marshes
Russia (European) Watershead of Kama and Porysh rivers
Russia (European) Kilemarski Reserve

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal major breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate major breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 4500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Cuculus saturatus. Downloaded from on 04/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/08/2020.