Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO


Scientific Name: Coccyzus americanus

Spanish: Cuclillo Piquiganaldo

Present in Illinois: early May-early October

Illinois Status: common migrant and summer resident; a decline in population noted between 1909 and 1957 with decrease in orchards and destruction of hedgerows

Illinois Range: statewide

Illinois Habitat: woodland, woodland edge and orchards

Winter Range: Southern Central America to northern South America

Length: 12" (30 cm)

Weight: 1.8 oz. (50 g)

Color: gray-brown with reddish tint to wing tips, white belly, white tips on tail feathers, underside of bill yellow; sexes alike

Song: a series of "ka" notes followed by slower and longer notes at the end

Nest: medium height to low in vegetation (3-13 ft); roots and twigs with a lining of moss and grass

Eggs: 2-5 light bluish or greenish blue eggs; laid late May to late August; female provides most of the care

# Broods/Year: one

Food: insects (mostly caterpillars, also beetles, fall webworms, cicadas) with some fruit (mulberries and others)

Habits: often goes unnoticed because it is sluggish and tends to stay in dense vegetation

Interesting Facts: sometimes will "rob" the nests of other birds, eating the eggs; is nicknamed "raincrow" as it is thought to forecast rain

 


Sources of Information:

 

      An Annotated Check-list of the Birds of IL. H. David Bohlen. 1978.

The Birds of Illinois. H. David Bohlen. 1989.

The Songbird Connection. New Jersey Conservation Foundation. 1994.



Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820
217-333-6880
cms@inhs.illinois.edu

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