Blog Archive: Cuckoos

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?

Birdorable Greater Roadrunner

Birdorable 188: Greater Roadrunner

Cute Birdorable Greater Roadrunner

Today's addition in our Birdorable Bonanza is the Greater Roadrunner, a long-legged bird and the largest North American cuckoo. Its breeding habitat is desert and shrubby country in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Although capable of flight, it spends most of its time on the ground where it can run at speeds of 20 miles per hour, which is an important capability when you're being chased a coyote, of course. ;)

Whaddyou Lookin' At???
Photo by Uncle Phooey (Source: Flickr)

And here's a sneak peek at tomorrow's bird in the Birdorable Bonanza. Until the 31st of July we'll be adding a new bird every day until we reach #200 at the end of this month.

Preview of Birdorable 189