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

48 cm; 128 g. Adult grey above, chestnut on primaries, chin to breast dark chestnut, belly pale rufous, tail long with broad white tips; eyelids yellow, iris brown, decurved... read more


Guttural crow-like call, “ú-wack-ú-wack-ú-wack-”; also bleats like a lamb.


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. Forages in middle storey and... read more


Virtually unknown. One bird in May had an egg in the oviduct, ready to be laid. Nests in trees, on a platform of sticks. Eggs 2, white.



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. (2018). 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 17 January 2018).