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Asian koel.jpg
Male Asian koel
Asian koel (close-up).jpg
Female Asian koel
Scientific classification


Eudynamys melanorhynchus
Eudynamys scolopaceus
Eudynamys orientalis

The true koels, Eudynamys, are a genus of cuckoos from Asia, Australia and the Pacific. They are large sexually dimorphic cuckoos which eat fruits and insects and have loud distinctive calls. They are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species.

In New Zealand the long-tailed koel is known as the long-tailed cuckoo. Two other species, the white-crowned koel and the dwarf koel, are also known as koels but are in their own monotypic genera.


The taxonomy of the common koel complex is difficult and remains a matter of dispute, with some only recognizing a single species (common koel, Eudynamys scolopaceus, with melanorhynchus and orientalis as subspecies), two species (common koel, Eudynamys scolopaceus, with orientalis as a subspecies, and black-billed koel, Eudynamys melanorhynchus) or three species (as done below).

Image Scientific name Subspecies Common Name Distribution
Asian koel.jpg Eudynamys scolopaceus[1] Asian koel India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to southern China and the Greater Sundas
Eudynamys melanorhynchus[1] Black-billed koel Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Sula, Banggai, Togian
Pacific koel male kob08.JPG Eudynamys orientalis *Australian koel, Eudynamys (orientalis) cyanocephalus[1] Pacific koel Wallacea east to the Solomon Islands and south to northern and eastern Australia
  • Henderson Island koel, Eudynamis cf. taitensisprehistoric


  1. ^ a b c David, N., & Gosselin, M. (2002). The grammatical gender of avian genera. Bull B.O.C. 122: 257-282.