Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Grey-capped Cuckoo (Coccyzus lansbergi)


French: Coulicou à tête grise German: Lansbergkuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo cabecigrís

Coccyzus lansbergi


, 1850,

Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia




Mainly N Colombia, NW Venezuela, W Ecuador (mainly S from Manabí and Los Ríos) and extreme NW Peru, with two records in E Panama#R. Regular non-breeding visitor to Peru, but only very rarely on coast S to Arequipa.

Descriptive notes

25–28 cm; male 46–56 g. Adult rufous-brown above with slate-grey cap reaching to just below eyes, dark rufous-buff below, long graduated black tail with white... read more


Fast series of 6–8 hollow and falling “cu” notes, often with a slight pause... read more


Tropical moist to dry semi-deciduous forest, arid forest, bushy fields, gallery forest, in middle... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly caterpillars and some wasps.


Season Feb–Mar (perhaps Jan–Jun overall) in SW Ecuador, with one record of nest with young from early Aug; one in breeding... read more


Unclear and not well known. Wholly or partly migratory, but movements may be confined to within the... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Distribution is incompletely known, and species appears to be generally rare within limited known range; few records in Colombia, but occasionally... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Grey-capped Cuckoo (Coccyzus lansbergi). 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 February 2020).