Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus rufipennis)


French: Géocoucou à ailes rousses German: Rotschwingen-Grundkuckuck Spanish: Cuco hormiguero alirrufo

Cultrides rufipennis

G. R. Gray

, 1849,

lower Orinoco River, Venezuela


Proposed subspecies nigrogularis (S Venezuela, S Guyana and N Brazil) considered indistinguishable. Monotypic.


E & S Venezuela, Guyana and N Brazil (Roraima, near upper R Branco); recorded also in NW Brazil (upper R Negro, Amazonas) and SE Colombia (Sierra del Chiribiquete, Caquetá).

Descriptive notes

50 cm. Adult dark bronzy-green above, crest purplish-glossed black, head, neck and chest purplish blue-black, throat ashy-white to grey (black on some), dull grey-brown below... read more


Single call a hoot, “whoú”, repeated in no regular pattern, dove-like; also loud snapping of... read more


Tropical lowland evergreen forest, including forest in highlands, in interior foothill zone.... read more

Food and feeding

Diet not recorded, probably similar to that of congeners. Solitary, wary and restless, runs fast on ground, perches in middle branches of... read more


Nest unknown. Eggs yellowish white; 40 x 31 mm.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Like its congeners, this is a rare and poorly known species requiring further field research. Known to be sensitive to habitat disturbance.

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2017). Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus rufipennis). 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 November 2017).