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A photo of a Little Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx minutillus), male
Little Bronze Cuckoo, Male

Little Bronze Cuckoo

Chrysococcyx minutillus

The Little Bronze Cuckoo, known scientifically as Chrysococcyx minutillus, holds the title of the world's smallest cuckoo. Weighing a mere 17 grams and measuring 15 centimeters in length, this diminutive bird is a marvel of the avian world. Its plumage is a captivating bronze-green on the upperparts, while the underparts are a pristine white, adorned with dark barring. A distinctive white spot located just behind the eye adds to its unique appearance.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Little Bronze Cuckoo, look for its slender body and elongated tail, which it skillfully uses to navigate through dense vegetation. The contrast between its bronze-green upperparts and barred white underparts, along with the white eye-spot, are key features to distinguish it from other species.

Habitat

The preferred habitats of this species are open woodlands, forest edges, and areas with dense, scrubby vegetation. These environments provide the Little Bronze Cuckoo with ample cover and foraging opportunities.

Distribution

This species has a broad range, found in Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and the northern and eastern regions of Australia. It is a bird that knows no borders, thriving in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests across this vast area.

Behaviour

The Little Bronze Cuckoo is a seasonal migrant, moving between its breeding and non-breeding grounds in response to environmental changes and the availability of food. This behavior ensures that the species can exploit different habitats throughout the year.

Subspecies

Several subspecies of the Little Bronze Cuckoo have been recognized, each with its own distinct range. These include populations in southern Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, western Java, Borneo, the southern Philippines, Sulawesi, Flores, Madu Island, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Babar, Kai, Tanimbar Islands, Biak, coastal New Guinea, northern Queensland, northern Australia, eastern Australia, and northeastern Australia.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Little Bronze Cuckoo as Least Concern, indicating that, for now, this species does not face any immediate threat of extinction. This status reflects the bird's wide distribution and presumably large population.

In the quiet of the forest, one might be fortunate enough to encounter the world's smallest cuckoo, a bird that, despite its size, commands the attention of those who appreciate the wonders of the avian realm.

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