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Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus


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Black-billed Cuckoo
credit: Wolfgang Wander /CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Cuculidae, Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Anis view all from this family

Description ADULT Has gray-brown upperparts (crown is same color as back) and whitish underparts. Flight feathers are buffy brown (not rufous), and note uniformly dark bill and reddish eyering. Tail is long and wedge-shaped when fanned; upperside is brown with small pale tips to feathers; underside is gray-brown with small white spots (feather tips), defined by subterminal black bands. JUVENILE Similar to adult, but duller overall, with grubby-looking underparts and indistinct pattern on undertail.

Dimensions Length: 12" (30 cm)

Habitat Scarce summer visitor (mainly May-Sep) to temperate, deciduous woodland; winters in northern South America.

Observation Tips Easiest to see on arrival from migration in spring.

Range Southeast, Great Lakes, Texas, Florida, Plains, Rocky Mountains, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada, Western Canada

Voice Utters a subdued piping cu-cu, cu-cu, cu-cu-cu÷.

Discussion Unobtrusive woodland bird. Separable from similar Yellow-billed by differences in bill and eyering colors, tail patterns, and calls. Feeds on hairy caterpillars. Sexes are similar.