Lesser cuckoo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lesser cuckoo
Cuculus poliocephalus.jpg
Song recorded in Japan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Cuculus
Species: C. poliocephalus
Binomial name
Cuculus poliocephalus
Latham, 1790

The lesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus) is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae.

It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In culture[edit]

Lesser cuckoo on a 1954 Japanese stamp

In Japan, the bird is called hototogisu (ホトトギス) and is frequently praised for its song, and is ranked by Sei Shōnagon as her favorite bird in her account of court life in Heian Japan, The Pillow Book.[citation needed] It is also a pivotal image in poem 81 of the Hyakunin Isshu poetry anthology.[citation needed] The Japanese haiku magazine Hototogisu takes its name from the bird.[citation needed]

In Korean literature, the song of the lesser cuckoo represents the sound of sadness.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Cuculus poliocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.