Tag Archives: Nannococcyx psix

Nannococcyx psix Olson

Saint Helena Cuckoo (Nannococcyx psix)  

This somewhat enigmatic species was described in 1975 on the basis of a single subfossil bone, a right humerus that is lacking the distal end.

This single bone, however, is enough to know that this must have been an extremely small species, basically smaller than any other cuckoo species; it is still possible that it had reduced wings like so many island endemics, and that it therefor was not really that tiny after all.

The Saint Helena Cuckoo disappeared shortly after the first people set their feet onto the island in 1502, mostly due to the habitat destruction by deforestation. [1]


Up to now, there is not a single record of any passerine bird from Saint Helena, thus the endemic cuckoo species may not have been a brood parasite; however, it is quite possible that any former passerine inhabitants might have gone extinct without leaving any traces of their former existence.



[1] S. L. Olson: Paleornithology of St. Helena Island, south Atlantic Ocean. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 23. 1975  


edited: 31.05.2021