Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Dwarf Koel (Microdynamis parva)


French: Coucou à tête noire German: Schwarzkappenkuckuck Spanish: Koel enano

Eudynamis [sic] parva


, 1876,

Tidore; error = New Guinea


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. p. grisescens Mayr & Rand, 1936 – N New Guinea between Humboldt Bay and Kumusi R.
  • M. p. parva (Salvadori, 1876) – lowland forests of rest of New Guinea, and D’Entrecasteaux Is (Goodenough, Fergusson)#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; male 39·3–54 g, female 49–54 g. Adult male brown above, crown and malar streak glossy black, white stripe below eye, underparts rich buff... read more


    Similar to that of Eudynamys scolopaceus, but latter utters shorter, faster, lower-pitched... read more


    Forest, including monsoon forest, edges, well-grown secondary and gallery forests and in tall shade... read more

    Food and feeding

    Perhaps entirely frugivorous, with a preference for figs, and has been observed feeding with fruit-doves (Ptilinopus spp.),... read more


    Only information on seasonality concerns specimens of both sexes with enlarged gonads in Jun. Details unknown, although presumed to be a... read more


    Apparently resident, although it has been recorded once each on Babar, in Lesser Sundas, and Dauan... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread, and common to fairly common within its range, but poorly known and comparatively rarely seen. Extensive research required on biology,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Dwarf Koel (Microdynamis parva). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 January 2020).