Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Pavonine Cuckoo (Dromococcyx pavoninus)


French: Géocoucou pavonin German: Pfauenkuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo pavonino

Dromococcyx pavoninus


, 1870,

Araguay, Engenho do Gama and Arimani, Brazil


Proposed race perijanus (from Sierra de Perijá, on N Colombia–NW Venezuela border) generally considered inseparable. Monotypic.


Very patchily from Colombia#R#R, Venezuela and Guyana through E Peru and Bolivia to Brazil (S to Mato Grosso, Paraná, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), Paraguay and N Argentina (Misiones); recorded once in E Ecuador (Napo)#R.

Descriptive notes

27–30·5 cm; 40·5–54 g. Adult small-headed, thin-necked, dark above, with scaly feathers edged white on outer webs (frosted appearance), crown, face... read more


Call a whistled “püü, pee, püü-pe-pe”, first note lowest, last note... read more


Lowland tropical evergreen forest, montane evergreen forest, scrub thickets, tangled forests with... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Forages on ground and in forest understorey.


Brood-parasitic: hosts include species with closed or bag-shaped nests (Tyrannidae, Formicariidae). Eggs white with purplish spots; 21 mm... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. A solitary cuckoo, uncommon to rare, not well known, and sensitive to habitat disturbance. Its distribution is patchy and discontinuous, though the... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Pavonine Cuckoo (Dromococcyx pavoninus). 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).