Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)


Bay-breasted Cuckoo (Coccyzus rufigularis)


French: Tacco cabrite German: Dominikanerkuckuck Spanish: Cuco picogordo de La Española
Other common names: Rufous-breasted Cuckoo

Coccyzus rufigularis


, 1852,

mountain forests of Dominican Republic


Sometimes included within genus Piaya. This species and C. pluvialis were previously placed together in Hyetornis, but recent molecular analysis found that genus to be embedded within Coccyzus#R. Monotypic.


Hispaniola: definitely present only at two sites in Dominican Republic (Sierra de Bahoruco and N slope of Cordillera Central#R); extremely rare, or even extinct, in Haiti and extinct on Gonâve I#R#R.

Descriptive notes

46–51 cm; 128 g (one male). Adult grey above, chestnut on primaries, chin to breast dark chestnut, belly pale rufous, tail long with broad white tips; eyelids yellow,... read more


Guttural crow-like call, “ú-wack-ú-wack-ú-wack-”; also bleats like... read more


Tropical deciduous forest in arid lowlands to mountain rain forest. Lowlands to 900+ m.

Food and feeding

Insects, including grasshoppers, mantids, grubs and caterpillars, pentatomids and beetles; also lizards, mice. One stomach contained 92%... read more


Virtually unknown. Season Feb–Jun (onset of wet season). One bird in May had an egg in the oviduct, ready to be laid. Nests in trees... read more



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. A shy species which remains in cover, this cuckoo is apparently rare to uncommon within its restricted range. It is considered endangered because of an evident... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & de Juana, E. (2019). Bay-breasted Cuckoo (Coccyzus rufigularis). 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 on 13 December 2019).