The black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) is New World species of bird in the Cuculidae (cuckoo) family. It is very similar and overlaps in range with the closely related yellow-billed cuckoo.
Adults have a long, graduated brown tail and a black, slightly downcurved bill. The head and upper parts are brown and the underparts are white. The feet are zygodactylous. There is a red ring around the eye. Juveniles are drabber, and the eye ring is greenish.
|length||280–320 mm (11–12.6 in)|
|weight||52 g (1.8 oz)|
|wingspan||440 mm (17.5 in)|
|wing||132.9–140.9 mm (5.23–5.55 in)|
|tail||147.4–159.8 mm (5.80–6.29 in)|
|culmen||20.2–23.9 mm (0.80–0.94 in)|
|tarsus||21.1–24.1 mm (0.83–0.95 in)|
Their breeding habitat is edges of wooded areas across North America east of the Rockies. They nest in a low tree or shrub, sometimes on the ground, laying 2 to 4 blue-green eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 10 to 11 days. They sometimes lay eggs in the nests of other birds.
These birds forage in shrubs or trees. They mainly eat insects, especially tent caterpillars, but also some snails, eggs of other birds and berries. It is known to beat caterpillars against a branch before consuming in order to remove some of the indigestible hairs. Remaining hairs accumulate in the stomach until the bird sheds the stomach lining and disgorges a pellet in a manner similar to owls.
The call is a rapid repetitive Coocoocoo.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Coccyzus erythropthalmus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Godfrey, W. Earl (1966). The Birds of Canada. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. p. 210.
- Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 268. ISBN 0-679-45122-6.
- Paulson, Dennis (2013). "Cuckoos - Tent Caterpillar Birds". BirdNote.
- "Black-billed Cuckoo". Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Coccyzus erythropthalmus.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Coccyzus erythropthalmus|
- Black-billed Cuckoo Species Account - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Black-billed Cuckoo profile at eNature.com
- Black-billed Cuckoo - Coccyzus erythropthalmus - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
- BirdLife species factsheet for Coccyzus erythropthalmus
- Coccyzus erythropthalmus on Avibase
- Black-billed cuckoo videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
- Black-billed cuckoo photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- Interactive range map of Coccyzus erythropthalmus at IUCN Red List maps
- Audio recordings of Black-billed cuckoo on Xeno-canto.