This fairly large, lanky woodland bird has white underparts, plain brown upperparts, and a long decurved bill with a mostly yellow lower mandible. The underside of its long tail is dark gray to black with several pairs of oval-shaped white spots. The face features a blackish mask through the eye and yellow eye ring. Folded wings show rufous primaries. In flight, note broad rufous flight feathers and long tail with white spots along edges. Sexes are similar. Black-billed Cuckoo has dark bill, small white spots in tail, and lacks rufous in wings. Mangrove Cuckoo of Southern Florida also lacks rufous in wings and has buffy underparts.
Length: 30 (cm) Wingspan: 46 (cm)
Loud, odd-sounding series of evenly spaced hard "cuk, cuk, cuk" notes followed by shorter series of slurred double noted "cu-coo cu-coo" phrases. Also various cooing and single knocking sounds.
Riparian areas, deciduous woodlands, dense thickets.
Clambers among vegetation or sits quite still; habitually calls on hot days. Looks somewhat floppy in flight. Nest is a platform of twigs, lined with finer materials, placed on horizontal limb. Occasionally lays eggs in other birds' nests, especially Black-billed Cuckoo.
Gleans foliage for insects, especially tent caterpillars, and other small prey.
Expanded Life History
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My first sighting of the year as of 2012 was June 9. I live in the eastern panhandle of west virginiaby Rhett Quigley on July 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm
Least Concernby Rhett Quigley on July 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm
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uncommon to commonby Rhett Quigley on July 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm
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Both Male and Female look the same throughout the entire yearby Rhett Quigley on July 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm
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often heard, uncommonly seenby Rhett Quigley on July 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm
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similar to mourning doveby Rhett Quigley on July 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm
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mourning dove sizeby Rhett Quigley on July 13, 2012 at 10:04 pm
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sensitive to call being played backby Rhett Quigley on July 13, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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