Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Long-tailed Koel (Urodynamis taitensis)


French: Coucou de Nouvelle-Zélande German: Langschwanzkoel Spanish: Koel colilargo
Other common names: Long-tailed Cuckoo

Cuculus taitensis


, 1787,



Formerly placed in genus Eudynamys, but genetically distinct#R. Monotypic.


Breeds in New Zealand, and on Great Barrier I, Little Barrier I, Kapiti I and Stewart I. Migrates to Oceania, occurring from Palau, Carolines and Marshalls SE through Fiji, Tonga and Samoa to Cook, Society, Austral, Marquesas and Pitcairn Is; also Bismarck Archipelago, Solomons, Vanuatu, Norfolk I, Lord Howe I and elsewhere in SW Pacific.

Descriptive notes

38–42 cm; 120 g. Adult male long-tailed, entirely rufous-barred brown above, head blackish with rufous streaks, white streak above eye; below, white to rufous with... read more


Whistled “ouit-ouit”, also a magpie-like chatter and loud shrieks; sometimes several... read more


Forest, scrub.

Food and feeding

Insects, also crabs, lizards, eggs, nestling birds; preys on nestlings even when in non-breeding area (Norfolk I).


Breeding season Nov–Dec. Brood-parasitic: hosts songbirds, including Yellowhead (Mohoua novaeseelandiae), Whitehead (M.... read more


Long-distance migrant, moving seasonally from New Zealand to Melanesia, Micronesia and (mainly)... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Populations of present species are decreasing in numbers with the loss of forest breeding habitats and also, in tandem, the reduction in populations... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & de Juana, E. (2019). Long-tailed Koel (Urodynamis taitensis). 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 7 December 2019).