Backyard Birds

Black-billed Cuckoos

The Black-billed Cuckoos, Coccyzus erythropthalmus, is a mostly-brown and white plumaged cuckoo.


They breed along the edges of wooded areas across North America east of the Rockies.

They migrate south to winter in South America.

They are very rare vagrants in western Europe.


Adults have a long brown tail and a black bill. The head and upper parts are brown and the underparts are white. There is a red ring around the eye. Juveniles are drabber, and the eye ring is greenish.

Nesting / Breeding

They nest in a low tree or shrub, sometimes on the ground. They sometimes lay eggs in the nests of other birds.

Diet / Feeding

Black-billed Cuckoos mainly eat insects, especially tent caterpillars, but also some snails, eggs of other birds, and berries. They typically forage in shrubs or trees.

Call / Vocalization

The call is described as a rapid repetitive Coocoocoo.



Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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