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Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo - Bird Species | Frinvelis jishebi | ფრინველის ჯიშები

Black-billed Cuckoo

Overview

Black-billed Cuckoo: Medium cuckoo with brown upperparts, white underparts. Eye-ring is red and decurved bill is black. Tail is long with faint white, dark-eyed spots underneath. Feeds primarily on caterpillars, also eats insects, small fish, mollusks and fruits. Makes low flights of short duration.

Range and Habitat

Black-billed Cuckoo: Breeds from Alberta and Montana east to Maritime Provinces, and south to northern Texas, Arkansas, and South Carolina. Spends winters in South America. Preferred habitats include moist thickets in low overgrown pastures and orchards; also occurs in thicker undergrowth and sparse woodlands.

INTERESTING FACTS

Spiny caterpillars account for a large part of the Black-billed Cuckoo’s diet. The spines of the caterpillars stick in the lining of the bird’s stomach. The stomach lining is periodically shed to remove the spines.
Their tendency to call more frequently prior to rain accounts for their nickname, “Rain Crow.”
A group of cuckoos are collectively known as a "cooch" and an "asylum" of cuckoos.

The Black-billed Cuckoo is distinguished by a red ring around the eyes, and the younger members of this species substitute this with a green ring. They mainly breed on the edges of woods in North America, east of the Rocky Mountains. Their nests are located in low shrubs or trees, and sometimes even the ground. During winter months, they migrate to South America and rarely western Europe. They are foragers who frequently dine on insects such as tent caterpillars, snails, eggs and berries. Due to the large population of the Black-billed Cuckoo, this species’ conservation status is Least Concern.

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