Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira)


French: Guira cantara German: Guirakuckuck Spanish: Pirincho

Cuculus Guira

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,



Study of cranial osteology shows this species as the most divergent member of Crotophagini#R. Monotypic.


E & S Brazil from extreme S Amapá and Pará S to Bolivia, Paraguay, N & E Argentina and Uruguay.

Descriptive notes

36–42 cm (including tail of c. 20 cm); male 128·6–168·2 g, female 103–168·6 g. Adult shaggy-looking above, back and wings white-... read more


Noisy, plaintive whistles, “”, also guttural calls, a... read more


Second-growth scrub, drier tree and scrub savanna and scrub woodlands, pampas, pastures, coastal... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, grasshoppers, cicadas, flying termites, spiders, frogs, lizards, snakes; eggs and nestlings of small birds; takes mice and rats in... read more


In Brazil, some nest in dry months May–Aug but mainly in rains during Aug–Nov near Brasília, also Aug–Nov near Rio... read more


Resident. A vagrant (or escaped captive?) was found emaciated in Curaçao, though species... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common. Has extended its range during the last 100 years, entering fields occupying deforested areas; common in Mato Grosso, SC Brazil, and... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira). 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 12 December 2019).