Proposal (917) to South American Classification Committee


Add Cuculus canorus (Common Cuckoo) to main list


Effect on South American CL: This would add a species to the Main List


Background: Mentioned in the SACC Hypothetical List as follows:


“Published photograph from 2018 from Fernando do Noronha (Whittaker et al. 2019). SACC proposal badly needed.”


An individual of this species was photographed in Fernando de Noronha in 27 February 2018 and represents the first documented record for Brazil [and South America] (Whittaker et al. 2019).


Three images published (Whittaker et al. 2019: 194) show the distinctive mark "the pure white undertail-coverts indicate the present species and eliminate Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus optatus in which these feathers are buff".

The CBRO has endorsed the present occurrence (Pacheco et al. 2021) and treats Cuculus canorus in the main list of Brazilian checklist of birds.


Literature Cited:

Pacheco, J.F.; Silveira, L.F.; Aleixo, A.; Agne, C.E.; Bencke, G.A.; Bravo, G.A; Brito, G.R.R.; Cohn-Haft, M.; Maurício, G.N.; Naka, L.N.; Olmos, F.; Posso, S.; Lees, A.C.; Figueiredo, L.F.A.; Carrano, E.; Guedes, R.C.; Cesari, E.; Franz, I.; Schunck, F. & Piacentini, V.Q. 2021. Annotated checklist of the birds of Brazil by the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee – second edition. Ornithology Research, 29(2):94-105.

Whittaker, A., Silva, J.P.F, Lucio, B. & Kirwan, G.M. 2019. Old World vagrants on Fernando de Noronha, including two additions to the Brazilian avifauna, and predictions for potential future Palearctic vagrants. Bull. Brit. Orn. Cl. 139(3):189-204



José Fernando Pacheco, August 2021





Comments from Remsen: “YES.  Published photos, vetted by experts, and endorsed by CBRO, which includes Fernando and Vitor.”


Comments from Lane: “YES. I think the images show this species and safely eliminate other Cuculus from consideration.”


Comments from Robbins: “YES on adding the cuckoo to the list.”


Comments from Stiles: “YES to adding C. canorus to the SA list as a vagrant, based upon good photographic evidence.”


Comments from Areta: “YES. The images published by Whittaker et al. (2019) clinch the identification to species level.”


Comments from Bonaccorso: “YES. I agree with Gary that it should be included as vagrant until more records are reported.”


Comments from Claramunt: “YES.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “YES – ID looks established vs. Oriental Cuckoo.”