Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Ruddy Cuckoo-dove (Macropygia emiliana)


French: Phasianelle rousse German: Indonesientaube Spanish: Tórtola cuco indonesia
Other common names: Sunda Red Cuckoo-dove

Macropygia emiliana


, 1854,

central Java


Closely related to M. rufipennis, M. tenuirostris, M. magna, M. amboinensis and M. phasianella, and all six sometimes considered conspecific; various other combinations proposed, and present species has been listed as belonging within M. phasianella; species limits of group poorly understood, and further study required in order to clarify precise relationships within this whole complex. Vocal and morphological differences within present species, as constituted herein, suggest that more than one species may be involved. Race cinnamomea has been considered a full species, but this treatment requires full evaluation of all taxa within the currently arranged species, a task currently rendered problematic by very small sample sizes in both specimen and (to date) acoustic material. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. e. borneensis Robinson & Kloss, 1921 – Borneo.
  • M. e. hypopercna Oberholser, 1912 – Simeulue (W of Sumatra).
  • M. e. modiglianii Salvadori, 1887 – Nias (W of Sumatra).
  • M. e. elassa Oberholser, 1912 – Mentawai Is of Siberut, Sipura and Pagai Is (W of Sumatra).
  • M. e. cinnamomea Salvadori, 1892 – Enggano (W of Sumatra).
  • M. e. emiliana Bonaparte, 1854 – W & S Sumatra, Java and Krakatau (W of Java), Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores and Paloe (N of Flores); recently recorded on Alor#R.
  • M. e. megala Siebers, 1929 – Kangean Is (off NE Java).
  • Descriptive notes

    30–37 cm. Rich reddish brown overall coloration; breast purplish brown with inconspicuous black barring; neck and breast with pink iridescence; iris has pale bluish... read more


    Advertising call consists of a repeated overslurred whistle, usually combined with one or two... read more


    Primary forest, tall secondary forest, glades and small openings in forests; occurs in lowlands up... read more

    Food and feeding

    No data on food items, but known to forage in the midstorey and lower canopy in Lesser Sundas.


    Little information. Nesting apparently occurs all year round in Java and Bali; Apr–Jul on Flores. Builds a simple twig nest in a... read more


    Probably resident. Flight noticeably slower than that of M. ruficeps.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in hill forests of Borneo, Java, Bali and Flores. Discovered on Arak in the Flores chain in 2009. Said to be not uncommon on islands... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Ruddy Cuckoo-dove (Macropygia emiliana). 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 21 January 2020).