The Yellow-billed Cuckoo
is probably heard more than seen, as their loud croaking calls emanating from
dense forest can often be heard for long distances. They are locally known as
the "rain crow" in parts of the U.S., as it is said their loud calls
are predictions of rain. Yellow-billed Cuckoos are sometimes practice nest
parasitism, but only will only do so in the nests of Black-billed
Habitat: Primarily breeds in dense
Diet: Yellow-billed Cuckoo populations
often depend heavily on caterpillars. They also will feed on beetles,
grasshoppers, cicadas, bird eggs, small lizards, frogs, and fruits and berries.
Behavior: Primarily forages by climbing and
flitting through the foliage, gleaning insects from leaves and branches as
it goes. They will also on occasion fly out from a perch to capture
passing insects in mid-air.
Nesting: May through June
Migration: Summers throughout the eastern half of the U.S., and
locally in the southwest and western U.S. A long-distance migrant,
wintering in Central and South America.
Similar Species: Black-billed Cuckoo
in South Dakota. Most similar in appearance to the
Mangrove Cuckoo, a species found in
Status: Numbers have shown a general decline in
recent decades, particularly in the western part of its range (due to
habitat loss). There also tend to be fairly large annual changes in
local populations as insect populations rise and fall.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Yellow-billed Cuckoo
-- Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Photo Information: May 23rd, 2004 -- Near Pierre
-- Doug Backlund
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Yellow-billed Cuckoo photos.