Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Pheasant Cuckoo (Dromococcyx phasianellus)


French: Géocoucou faisan German: Fasanenkuckuck Spanish: Cuclillo faisán

Macropus phasianellus


, 1824,

Tonantins, Amazonas, north-west Brazil


Proposed race rufigularis (Guatemala) based on juvenile plumage. Monotypic.


S Mexico (Guerrero and Veracruz to Yucatán and Chiapas) to Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Brazil and Amazonian Peru, then on to Bolivia, Paraguay and N Argentina.

Descriptive notes

33–41 cm; male 78–100 g, female 86·8–98·1 g. Adult small-headed, thin-necked, dark brown above with scaly feathers, short rufous crest, white... read more


Melancholy whistles, “se-sée-werrrrrr”, final note quavering; also a four-note... read more


Tropical lowland evergreen forest, flooded tropical evergreen forest, tropical deciduous forest,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including large grasshoppers; lizards.


Breeds Apr–Jun in Oaxaca. Brood-parasitic: hosts are birds laying in open or covered nests, include tyrant-flycatchers (Eye-ringed... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread, but uncommon to rare and local; secretive and solitary behaviour make it difficult to assess numbers and relative abundance, but species... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2020). Pheasant Cuckoo (Dromococcyx phasianellus). 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 30 March 2020).