Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor)

Mangrove Cuckoo

Mangrove Cuckoo

[order] CUCULIFORMES | [family] Cuculidae | [latin] Coccyzus minor | [UK] Mangrove Cuckoo | [FR] Coulicou des mangroves | [DE] Mangrovekuckuck | [ES] Cuclillo de Manglar | [NL] Mangrove-koekoek


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Coccyzus minor NA, LA s Florida, Caribbean, MA to ne Brazil


Physical charateristics

Brown above, rich buff or tawny below, with black facial mask; curved bill. Tail long and graduated, with black-and-white spots at tip.

Listen to the sound of Mangrove Cuckoo

[audio: Cuckoo.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 38 cm wingspan max.: 43 cm
size min.: 28 cm size max.: 33 cm
incubation min.: 9 days incubation max.: 11 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 11 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


North America, Latin America : South Florida, Caribbean, MA to Northeast Brazil


The Mangrove Cuckoo inhabits dense mangrove swamps and tropical hardwood hammocks. It glides silently, like a shadow, through the forests, occasionally emitting a ponderous, guttural “gaw-gaw-gaw.” Although elusive, it is surprisingly tame when approached and responds readily to taped Mangrove Cuckoo calls. The Mangrove Cuckoo feeds on hairy caterpillars, moths, spiders, small frogs, and fruits and berries taken from the ground or from trees and shrubs


The nest, usually located in a thicket or dense forest above water, is a frail, flat structure composed of twigs. It is similar to the nest of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. A clutch consists of 2 or, rarely, 3 pale blue eggs. Both adults share feeding the young birds. The length of incubation and the age of the young at fledging are not known. Nesting occurs from May through July, perhaps into early August, and may include 2 broods.

Feeding habits

Eats many caterpillars, including hairy caterpillars, other birds avoid. It also feeds on grasshoppers, spiders, moths, flies, and other insects.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
A common resident in much of the West Indies and Middle America, in the United States the Mangrove Cuckoo breeds only in Florida. Common along the coast of Suriname, escpecially the mangroves.
Mangrove Cuckoo status Least Concern


Migratory in South Florida and Florida keys, though a few winter records, mainly in inland hardwood hammocks. Arrives in late March and departs in late September. Observations seasonal from January to September in Hispaniola. Permanent resident in Pacific region of Oaxaca. Hurricanes may be responsible for some episodic movements, and the different appearance of samples of cuckoos taken in the same place in different years may reflect natural reintroductions and local extinctions of small founding populations. Resident in Suriname

Distribution map

Mangrove Cuckoo distribution range map

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