677. Coccyzus americanus

Coccyzus americanus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 170 (1766) ; Gould, B. of E. ii. pl. 242 ; Audubon, B. of Am. iv. pl. 275 ; Newton, ii. p. 415 ; Dresser, v. p. 227, pl. 301, fig. 2 ; Shelley, Cat B. Br. Mus. xix. p. 308 ; Saunders, p. 290 ; Lilford, ii. p. 28, pl. 12.
Male ad. (Texas). Upper parts metallic olivaceous brown, the two outer quills cinnamon-red nearly to the tip, paler on the inner web ; middle tail-feathers like the back, the rest tipped with, and the outermost on the outer web, white ; under parts white, sides of neck faintly tinged with ash ; upper mandible bluish horn, at the base yellow ; lower mandible yellow tipped with horn-blue ; legs light plumbeous ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.95, wing 5.9, tail 6.2, tarsus 1.05 inch. Sexes alike. The young bird has less white on the tail, and less rufous on the wings.
Hab. North America from Canada to Brazil ; West Indies; has occurred in Europe as a rare straggler, at least ten times in England, Wales, and Ireland, once in Belgium, and once in Italy.
Inhabits well wooded localities, especially those bordering the rivers, and though not very shy is wary and secretive in its general habits. Its note is a somewhat monotonous though not unpleasing koo, koo, koo, koo, or kow, kow, kow, kow, and it is said to be most clamorous at the approach of rain. Its food consists chiefly of insects, but it is said to take and eat the eggs of other birds. Unlike G. canorus it is not parasitic, but builds a slight nest of twigs and grass not unlike that of a Dove, which it places on the branch of a tree, and late in April or in May deposits 4, seldom 5 eggs, elliptical in form, in colour delicate light blue slightly tinged with green, occasionally clouded with white, in size averaging about 1.22 by 0.93.
The eggs of this bird are said to have been found in the nests of other species, but in such cases it would seem that the Cuckoo intended to usurp the nest of the other bird, and not to entrust her eggs to a foster-parent. The eggs are frequently deposited at intervals of several days, so that when the young are all hatched one may be nearly ready to leave the nest, and the youngest only hatched a few days or a week previously.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
677. Coccyzus americanus
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Yellow Billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Coccyzus americanus
Vol. 1

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