Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus)


Taxonomy

French: Coulicou à bec noir German: Schwarzschnabelkuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo piquinegro
Taxonomy:

Cuculus erythropthalma

A. Wilson

, 1811,

near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

.

Emendation of scientific name to erythrophthalmus is unjustified. Molecular data show present species and C. lansbergi more closely related to West Indian species formerly placed in Saurothera and Hyetornis than to other members of present genus#R#R. A claimed record of hybrid between present species and C. americanus refers to a juvenile of latter species. Monotypic.

Distribution:

SC & SE Canada S to SC & SE USA. Winters in NW & WC South America.

Descriptive notes

30 cm; male 47 g, female 54 g, heavier at migration. Adult brownish olive above, primaries brown, white below, long tail grey with narrow white tips below; eye-ring red, iris... read more

Voice

Rhythmic “cucucu, cucucu, cucucu” call begins with c. 5 notes, each on a lower pitch, then... read more

Habitat

High-ground forest, open woodland, thickets, willow (Salix), alder (Alnus), aspen... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly caterpillars, also saw-flies, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, spiders, phalangids; rarely frogs, small fish, eggs of other... read more

Breeding

Breeds May–Sept; in Maryland May–Jul, in Oklahoma May–Jun. Courtship feeding occurs. Nest a shallow cup of sticks.... read more

Movements

Migratory, moving at night through Mexico and Central America as late as Dec. Spring migration... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Breeding densities vary considerably across years, in apparent response to caterpillar outbreaks. Populations considered stable overall, and... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2017). Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/54890 on 22 June 2017).