Photo: Manuel Grosselet/Vireo

Mangrove Cuckoo

Coccyzus minor

Birders who seek the Mangrove Cuckoo in Florida may have to contend with heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and long hours of searching. This bird is a shy denizen of dense mangrove swamps, living in impenetrable tangles, where its presence is often betrayed only by its throaty calls.
Conservation status Probably declining in Florida Keys as habitat is lost to development, but may be expanding north slightly along coast. Still widespread in Caribbean and elsewhere in tropics.
Family Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Anis
Habitat In our area, mostly in mangroves. In Florida, lives in mangrove swamps and in groves of tropical hardwoods on the Keys and the southern mainland. Elsewhere in range, found in mangroves and in various kinds of scrubby woods, including dry forest far from water.
Birders who seek the Mangrove Cuckoo in Florida may have to contend with heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and long hours of searching. This bird is a shy denizen of dense mangrove swamps, living in impenetrable tangles, where its presence is often betrayed only by its throaty calls.
Photo Gallery
  • adult
  • adult
  • adult
Feeding Behavior

Forages rather slowly and deliberately among mangroves or other dense growth, peering about, sometimes making short leaps or flutters to take insects from the foliage.


Eggs

2, sometimes 3. Pale blue-green, fading to greenish yellow. Incubation is probably by both parents; incubation period not well known. Young: Development of young and age at first flight not well known. Probably fed by both parents, as in other cuckoos.


Young

Development of young and age at first flight not well known. Probably fed by both parents, as in other cuckoos.

Diet

Mostly insects. Diet not known in detail. As with other cuckoos, seems to eat many caterpillars. Also feeds on grasshoppers, praying mantises, moths, flies, and other insects; also some spiders and small frogs, and probably some berries and small fruits.


Nesting

Breeding behavior is not well known. Male gives low, throaty song in spring, presumably to defend territory and attract a mate. Nest: So far as known, site is in mangrove or other low tree, usually fairly low over the water or ground (probably lower than 10' in most cases), among dense foliage. Nest is a flimsy platform of sticks.

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
Learn more about these drawings.

Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

Migration

Migratory status in Florida uncertain. Recorded at all seasons and thought to be permanent resident, but more conspicuous in summer. Rare stray from Mexico north into Texas and Gulf Coast.

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Migration

Migratory status in Florida uncertain. Recorded at all seasons and thought to be permanent resident, but more conspicuous in summer. Rare stray from Mexico north into Texas and Gulf Coast.

  • All Seasons - Common
  • All Seasons - Uncommon
  • Breeding - Common
  • Breeding - Uncommon
  • Winter - Common
  • Winter - Uncommon
  • Migration - Common
  • Migration - Uncommon
Songs and Calls
Low guttural gaw-gaw-gaw-gaw-gaw, almost like a soft bark or the scolding of a squirrel.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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How climate change could affect this bird's range

In the broadest and most detailed study of its kind, Audubon scientists have used hundreds of thousands of citizen-science observations and sophisticated climate models to predict how birds in the U.S. and Canada will react to climate change.

Learn more

Read more: climate.audubon.org
Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Anis Perching Birds

Mangrove Cuckoo

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.

Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
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