Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Great Cuckoo-dove (Reinwardtoena reinwardti)


French: Phasianelle de Reinwardt German: Reinwardttaube Spanish: Paloma rabuda papúa
Other common names: Long-tailed Cuckoo-dove

Columba reinwardtsi

[sic] Temminck

, 1824,

Sulawesi; error = Ambon


Similar plumage patterns of present species and R. browni suggest they are quite closely related. Original spelling is clearly an error, from internal information; at least two different emendations are equally valid; Temminck himself subsequently emended the species name to “reinwardtii”, but for stability it seems best to follow the equally valid option “reinwardti” already selected by other authors#R. Birds of Buru have been awarded separate race, albida, but doubtfully distinct. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. r. reinwardti (Temminck, 1824) – Moluccas, on Morotai, Halmahera, Kayoa, Bacan, Obi, Buru, Ambon, Seram and Seram Laut.
  • R. r. griseotincta E. J. O. Hartert, 1896 – W Papuan Is (Misool, Waigeo, Salawati) through New Guinea and offshore islands of Yapen and Mios Num in Geelvink Bay, Manam and Karkar, to D’Entrecasteaux Is (Goodenough, Fergusson).
  • R. r. brevis J. L. Peters, 1937 – Biak and Supiori (Geelvink Bay).
  • Descriptive notes

    47·5–52·5 cm; 208–305 g. Very long tail; head, neck, breast and underparts pale bluish grey, darker on flanks and undertail-coverts; throat white;... read more


    Most frequently heard is a series of “cookuwook cookuwook cookuwook...” notes, similar to call of... read more


    Principally in canopy and middle level in primary forest, but also frequents forest edge, second... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on a variety of small seeds and fruit; pebbles found in some stomachs. Known to prefer fruit from Schefflera and related... read more


    Little data on seasonality except from New Guinea, where species apparently breeds year-round, perhaps peaking in Oct–Nov, but nests... read more


    No information.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very little information available on status. Overall, species is fairly common in Papua New Guinea, where density of 4–6 birds/km2 in Crater... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Great Cuckoo-dove (Reinwardtoena reinwardti). 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 10 December 2019).