Birdorable Yellow-billed Cuckoo

2019 Bonanza Bird #1: Yellow-billed Cuckoo

December 3rd, 2019 in Birdorable Bonanza 2019, Cuckoos No comments
Birdorable Yellow-bileld Cuckoo

It's Bonanza time again here at Birdorable! Today we're kicking off our 11th annual Birdorable Bonanza! For the next 10 days, we'll reveal a new Birdorable bird. Today we introduce a new species of cuckoo to Birdorable: the Yellow-billed Cuckoo!

Yellow-billed Cuckoos are migratory. They breed across much of the eastern half of the United States, as well as across the Caribbean and into parts of Central America. They spend the winter across much of South America.

While the Common Cuckoo of the Old World is known to be a brood parasite, much like the familiar Brown-headed Cowbird of the New World, Yellow-billed Cuckoos only rarely lay eggs in other birds' nests. In times of especially abundant availability of food, Yellow-billed Cuckoos have been known to lay eggs in other cuckoo nests, as well as in nests of robins, catbirds, and thrushes.

In the southern United States, where Yellow-billed Cuckoos breed, they have been known colloquially as the Rain Crow or the Storm Crow. This is because they have a reputation for calling or singing before summer thunderstorms.

The Yellow-billed Cuckoo joins our Birdorable Cuckoos and Cohorts, where we already have two species of cuckoo: the Greater Roadrunner and the Guira Cuckoo.

Photo of Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren (CC BY 2.0)
Photo of Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo with tent caterpillar by Andrew Weitzel (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tomorrow's new Birdorable is a small Asian species of nectar-feeding bird named for a female British naturalist and illustrator. Do you know the bird?