Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

Coccyzus americanus

The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo breeds mostly in the North American Great Plains and eastward. Their preferred habitat is dense deciduous woods. Scientists believe that the entire population winters in South America. Observers believe their population has been reduced by 50% since 1966. The eastern members of this species haven’t declined as dramatically as those in the west, where the USF&W Service has declared them as threatened. They have disappeared entirely from BC (Canada), Washington and Oregon.

Modern science does not recognise any subspecies of Yellow-Billed Cuckoo (i.e. they are monotypic).

In 2003, I first met these birds in southern Arizona. But it wasn’t until my trips to south Texas in 2020 and 2021 that I would meet them again while visiting the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

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