Fun Mangrove Cuckoo Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 17, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Mangrove Cuckoo facts are fascinating to learn.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.0 Min

The cuckoo is among the most popular, yet least understood, species of birds. In this article, we will learn about one of the North American birds, the Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor).

These birds rely on insects like grasshoppers, spiders, and caterpillars for most of their diet. These birds are exclusively found in the American continents.

Their range is defined by tropical regions with mangrove forests. In terms of countries, this bird is found in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

In the United States, this is one the rarer species of cuckoos being found only in tropical Florida. This medium-sized bird has a long tail which is colored black and white on the underside, and brown on top.

These birds are brown in color and have a yellow ring around their eyes. Their black curved bill also gives them a unique appearance. Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

These birds forage at a slow pace in dense growth of habitat (mangrove). This bird's hunting strategy relies on patience for the prey to be near them, after which this bird leaps to catch.

They lay three eggs that are pale green in color that fades to green-yellow. Both the parents help incubate the eggs, and when the eggs hatch the chicks are fed by both parents too.

Living in dense vegetation and being shy birds not much is known about their life and behavior. This article can inspire you to perhaps embark on your journey to learn more about these cuckoos.

Read on to learn more about Mangrove Cuckoos.

If you enjoy reading about these cuckoos, check out these yellow-billed cuckoo facts and black cuckoo facts for more.

Mangrove Cuckoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Mangrove Cuckoo?

Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) is a type of cuckoo species that is native to Neotropics and among the North American birds.

What class of animal does a Mangrove Cuckoo belong to?

The Mangrove Cuckoo belongs to the class Aves. Furthermore, the Mangrove Cuckoo belongs to the order Cuculiformes, family Cuculidae, and lastly genus Coccyzus. The yellow-billed cuckoo is a similar species to the Mangrove Cuckoo.

How many Mangrove Cuckoos are there in the world?

According to some population estimates there are over 200,000 adult Mangrove Cuckoo birds in their wild habitat (mangrove forests). It is observed that their population is stable.

Where does a Mangrove Cuckoo live?

These birds are typically found in mangroves. These birds are residents of Florida in the United States, Mexico (both coasts), the Caribbean (both coasts), and the Atlantic coast of South America till the Amazon river. Throughout its range, this species is found near the coast.

What is a Mangrove Cuckoo's habitat?

As their name suggests the Mangrove Cuckoo's habitats are the many mangrove forests in North, Central, and Southern America. Within a mangrove forest or swamps these cuckoo birds nest between 6.6-9.8 ft (2-3 m) above the water. These nests are perched on mangrove trees which is part of their habitats.

Who does Mangrove Cuckoo live with?

Not much is known about the flocking behavior of these cuckoos, outside their breeding season. This is because this bird is not vocal outside its breeding season.

How long does a Mangrove Cuckoo live?

The exact lifespan of the Mangrove Cuckoo is not known. If the lifespan of a similar species yellow-billed cuckoo is any indication then the Mangrove Cuckoo lives about five years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for the Mangrove Cuckoo is during the spring, during which time they are most vocal. Not much is known about their breeding behavior.

The female lays two or three eggs that are pale blue-green to yellow in color. Unlike their reputation, these birds do incubate their eggs themselves. In fact, both parents incubate and feed cuckoo chicks.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, the Mangrove Cuckoo is a species listed as Least Concern. Their conservation status is informed by how stable their population has been. Despite this, the destruction of mangrove forest habitat is a pressing issue to the welfare of this species.  

Mangrove Cuckoo Fun Facts

What does Mangrove Cuckoo look like?

Mangrove Cuckoos are medium-sized and have a long tail with white spots along the edges. They have a distinct black bill that curves with some yellow on the lower mandible.

They have a black mask-like face and their underside is buffy. Spending most of their time on a tree, these birds have a 'zygodactyl' foot, with two toes facing forward and backward. This adaptation helps them grasp tree branches in their habitats of forests and mangroves.

Mangrove Cuckoo is a beautiful bird to look at.

How cute are they?

Their long tail, black bill, and beautiful wings give them a pleasing appearance.

How do they communicate?

The most common call for this species is 'gawk gawk'. It also has a 'whit' call. Their throaty calls are the primary method to find them in dense mangroves.

The male bird's low song is used to attract females near them in the breeding season defend territory. The breeding season is in spring and that's when they are the easiest to find. In the winter months, this bird species is hard to find in its dense habitat.

How big is a Mangrove Cuckoo?

The Mangrove Cuckoo is a medium-sized bird species. Its body is about a length of 11-13 in (28-33 cm). The wingspan, on the other hand, is between 15-17 in (38.1-43.1 cm). This bird is about the same size as a pigeon, although the cuckoo is slender and weighs less.

How fast can a Mangrove Cuckoo fly?

The flying speed of the Mangrove Cuckoo bird species is not known.

How much does a Mangrove Cuckoo weigh?

The weight of an adult Mangrove Cuckoo is between 2.3-3.6 oz (65.2-102 g)

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male birds of his species are called 'cocks' and female birds are called 'hens'.

What would you call a baby Mangrove Cuckoo?

The baby Mangrove Cuckoo is called a cuckoo chick or simply a chick.

What do they eat?

Mangrove Cuckoos are omnivores that generally feed on insects. They eat a wide variety of small insects including grasshoppers, caterpillars, and spiders, which make up most of their diet.

As for plants they have been known to indulge with occasional fruit too. Mangrove Cuckoos are silent hunters and use patience as their primary hunting strategy. These bird species simply sit and wait on a tree for prey to approach before snatching.

Are they dangerous?

Mangrove Cuckoos are not dangerous to humans. This bird is a predator and thus obviously poses danger to the prey in its habitat.

Would they make a good pet?

These birds are not a common choice for a pet and are found in dense mangroves. Cuckoo species, in general, aren't common pets in North America.

Did you know...

The scientific name of this species is Coccyzus minor. Despite being called minor (small), this bird is in fact large compared to the three cuckoos native to America.

The word 'cuckoo' sounds a lot like the sound they make, and thus the name.

What is an American cuckoo called?

There are three types of American cuckoo. The first is the black-billed cuckoo, the next is the yellow-billed cuckoo, and finally the Mangrove Cuckoo. The black and yellow-billed cuckoo is named after the color of their beaks.

What is special about cuckoo?

Cuckoo is most infamous for its habit of laying its egg in the nest of another bird. The calls of the cuckoo chick are very loud, which drives the other birds to foster and feed them.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these brown thrasher facts and partridge facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Cuckoo Bird coloring pages.

Mangrove Cuckoo Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Caterpillars, grasshoppers, spiders

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

2.3-3.6 oz (65.2-102 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

mangrove swamps and hammocks

Where Do They Live?

north america (florida), central america (mexico), south america, caribbean

How Long Were They?

Body length: 11-13 in (28-33 cm)Wingspan: 15-17 in (38.1-43 cm)‍

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name


What Do They Look Like?


Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

destruction of swamps by human development

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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