Yellow-billed Cuckoo


Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Coccyzus
Species: C. americanus
Binomial name
Coccyzus americanus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, is a cuckoo. Common folk-names for this bird in the southern United States are Rain Crow and Storm Crow. These likely refer to the bird's habit of calling on hot days, often presaging thunderstorms.

Description

Comparison of Black-billed Cuckoo and Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Adults have a long tail, brown above and black-and-white below, and a black curved bill with yellow especially on the lower mandible. The head and upper parts are brown and the underparts are white. There is a yellow ring around the eye. It shows cinnamon on the wings in flight. Juveniles are similar, but the black on the undertail is replaced by gray.

This bird has a number of calls; the most common is a rapid ka ka ka ka ka kow kow kow.

There is an ongoing debate regarding the taxonomic status of the western race and if it is distinct from those birds in the east. This question is significant to the conservation status of this species in the west, where it has declined to a tiny fraction of its population a century ago.[1][2] Populations of this species in western North America are in steep decline. The bird disappeared from British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon during the first half of the twentieth century. Eastern populations have declined as well, though not as precipitously.

Ecology

Their breeding habitat is deciduous woods from southern Canada to Mexico. They migrate to Central America and as far south as northern Argentina. This bird is a rare vagrant to western Europe.

These birds forage in dense shrubs and trees, also may catch insects in flight. They mainly eat insects, especially tent caterpillars and cicadas, but also some lizards, eggs of other birds and berries.

They nest in a tree or shrub, usually up to 2–12 feet (1–4 meters) above the ground. The nest is a flimsy platform of short twigs placed on a horizontal branch. The 3-4 eggs are incubated for 14 days or less. The chicks are able to climb about with agility at 7–9 days of age. At about this same time, the feathers of the chicks burst out of their sheaths and the young are able to fly. The entire time from egg-laying to fledging may be as little as 17 days.

Yellow-billed Cuckoos occasionally lay eggs in the nests of other birds (most often the closely related Black-billed Cuckoo), but they are not obligate brood parasites of other birds as is the Common Cuckoo of Eurasia.

References

  1. ^ Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Species Account, Sacramento Fish & Wildlife Office
  2. ^ Biogeography of Western Yellow Billed Cuckoo
  • BirdLife International (2004). Coccyzus americanus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • John K. Terres (1980), Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, Knopf, ISBN 0-394-46651-9
  • David Gaines Review of the Status of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo in California: Sacramento Valley Populations The Condor, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Summer, 1974), pp. 204–209
  • Laymon, S.A., and M.D. Halterman. 1987. Can the western subspecies of Yellow-billed Cuckoo be saved from extinction? Western Birds 18:19-25.


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • yellow-billed cuckoo — geltonsnapė amerikinė gegutė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Coccyzus americanus angl. yellow billed cuckoo vok. Gelbschnabelkuckuck, m rus. желтоклювая американская кукушка, f pranc. coulicou à bec jaune, m ryšiai:… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • yellow-billed cuckoo — ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun : a common No. American cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) * * * /yel oh bild / a North American cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, that has a yellow bill and, unlike many cuckoos, constructs its own nest and rears its own young. [1805 15 …   Useful english dictionary

  • yellow-billed cuckoo — /yel oh bild / a North American cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, that has a yellow bill and, unlike many cuckoos, constructs its own nest and rears its own young. [1805 15, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • Yellow-billed — may refer to:* Southern Yellow billed Hornbill, African Hornbill * Yellow billed Babbler, Old World babbler * Yellow billed Cardinal, bird found in Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina * Yellow billed Cuckoo, bird of Puerto Rico * Yellow… …   Wikipedia

  • Yellow-billed Malkoha — Taxobox name = Yellow billed Malkoha status = LC | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Cuculiformes familia = Cuculidae genus = Phaenicophaeus species = P. calyorhynchus binomial = Phaenicophaeus… …   Wikipedia

  • Black-billed Cuckoo — Conservation status Least Concern ( …   Wikipedia

  • yel|low-billed cuckoo — «YEHL oh BIHLD», a North American cuckoo having a partly yellow bill …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cuckoo — Cuck oo (k[oo^]k [=oo]), n. [OE. coccou, cukkow, F. coucou, prob. of imitative origin; cf. L. cuculus, Gr. ????, Skr. k?ki?a, G. kuckuk, D. koekoek.] (Zo[ o]l.) A bird belonging to {Cuculus}, {Coccyzus}, and several allied genera, of many species …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cuckoo clock — Cuckoo Cuck oo (k[oo^]k [=oo]), n. [OE. coccou, cukkow, F. coucou, prob. of imitative origin; cf. L. cuculus, Gr. ????, Skr. k?ki?a, G. kuckuk, D. koekoek.] (Zo[ o]l.) A bird belonging to {Cuculus}, {Coccyzus}, and several allied genera, of many… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cuckoo dove — Cuckoo Cuck oo (k[oo^]k [=oo]), n. [OE. coccou, cukkow, F. coucou, prob. of imitative origin; cf. L. cuculus, Gr. ????, Skr. k?ki?a, G. kuckuk, D. koekoek.] (Zo[ o]l.) A bird belonging to {Cuculus}, {Coccyzus}, and several allied genera, of many… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.