The Black-billed Cuckoo is
most often found in dense deciduous woodlands and thickets, and is more often
heard than seen. Populations often fall and rise in conjunction with
caterpillar populations, especially hairy tent caterpillars. When
discovered, young of the species will sometimes "freeze" with their
neck stretched and bill in an upright position, somewhat similar to how an American
Habitat: Primarily found in deciduous forests.
This may include forest interiors, woodland edges, riparian areas, marshland
edges, and shrubby second-growth forest.
Diet: Heavily dependent upon
caterpillars, although they will also feed on other insects as available.
Will also occasionally eat small fruits and berries, bird eggs, snails, and
Behavior: Climbs, flits, and hops in the foliage
of trees and bushes, gleaning insects from foliage and branches as it moves.
Nesting: June and July
Song: Repeated po po po, also a rolling
call beginning very rapidly and slowing towards the end.
Migration: Summers throughout the Great Plains, the Midwest, the
Northeastern U.S., the Appalachians, and southern Canada. Winters in South
Conservation Status: Populations rise and fall with availability of caterpillars
for forage, but overall, generally stable throughout its range.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Black-billed Cuckoo"
Photo Information: May 16th, 2007 - Newton Hills
State Park - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Black-billed Cuckoo photos.