Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Dwarf Cuckoo (Coccycua pumila)


French: Piaye nain German: Zwergkuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo enano

Coccyzus pumilus


, 1852,

Trinidad; error = Venezuela


Previously placed in genus Coccyzus. Closely related to C. cinerea#R. Monotypic.


Colombia (mainly on E slopes of Andes) through upper Orinoco Valley to NE Venezuela; recorded once in N Brazil (Roraima).

Descriptive notes

21 cm; 36 g. Adult brownish grey above, tail short, brownish grey with subterminal band black, white tip; throat and breast rufous merging to buff on flanks, abdomen white or... read more


Calls “churr”, grating “trrr trrr trrr...”; dawn song “kööa... read more


Tropical deciduous forest, gallery forest, secondary forest; open woodland, pastures with scattered... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, especially caterpillars and treehopper nymphs, taken from trees, shrubs and ground.


Pair may nest all year. Monogamous, some polyandry (female mated with two males, both males helped rear young). Courtship feeding observed... read more


Resident, marked birds remaining on territory all year in Colombia; appearance is seasonal with the... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common, and apparently secure for present. Has recently expanded its range into humid and wet regions where forests have been... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Dwarf Cuckoo (Coccycua pumila). 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 27 February 2020).