Fun Yellow Billed Cuckoo Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Jan 29, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
Learn more about the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo by reading these Yellow-Billed Cuckoo facts.

The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) is a member of the Cuculidae family. The name Coccyzus americanus is derived from the Greek word 'kokkuzo' meaning 'to call like a common cuckoo' and 'americanus' meaning 'of America'.

These birds are also known as rain crow or storm crow in the southern United States. Most of the population of these species are found in shrubs in woodlands and cotton lands and riparian habitats.

The distribution of the population of this species is spread in locations like North America, Argentina, Columbia, and Venezuela. These species are known for their slim and slender body and long tail and these birds have a yellow ring around the eye.

The yellow-billed cuckoo song is another thing that this bird is known for. The underside of the tail of these birds has white patches and its wings are pointed.

The conservation status of these cuckoos is Least Concern.

Migration is common among these birds and thus, they are migratory birds and tend to migrate in small groups or large flocks. The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo migration depends on the season.

These species differ from the other species of the family, that is Black-Billed Cuckoo in terms of appearances. It is difficult to spot these birds as they blend with the surroundings and keep themselves hidden.

These species are slow and quiet foragers and their favorite food are caterpillars. Not only does this rain crow have an attractive appearance, but there are also more engaging things about this bird to know about, so read on.

For more bird facts, visit bird of paradise facts and blue-and-yellow macaw facts.

Yellow Billed Cuckoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Yellow Billed Cuckoo?

Yellow-Billed Cuckoos are a type of cuckoo which is a bird.

What class of animal does a Yellow Billed Cuckoo belong to?

The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus) belongs to the class Aves.

How many Yellow Billed Cuckoos are there in the world?

There is no specific number recorded for the total number of Yellow-Billed Cuckoos in the world.

Where does a Yellow Billed Cuckoo live?

The Yellow-Billed Cuckoos are found in woodlands and cotton lands. They live in canopies of deciduous trees.

What is a Yellow Billed Cuckoo's habitat?

Yellow-Billed Cuckoos are found in riparian habitats, mostly in woodlands and cotton lands. Apart from the riparian habitat, the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo habitat also includes low, scrubby, vegetation, overgrown orchards, and farmlands. Dense thickets along with stream marshes are also places where this cuckoo could be found. Locations include North America, Argentina, Columbia, and Venezuela.

Who do Yellow Billed Cuckoos live with?

Yellow-Billed Cuckoos live alone, they only tend to be in pairs during the breeding season.

How long does a Yellow Billed Cuckoo live?

The average lifespan of this cuckoo is four years.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction process or the breeding takes place in mid to late May. The Yellow-Billed Cuckoos are considered to be monogamous.

While most of them breed once a year, there are certain populations or species on the eastern side that breed twice a year. The breeding pairs form in May or June. Males try to procure or attract females by providing nesting material and food.

They also look for nesting sites together. The nest is built together by using materials such as twigs, pine, needles, and dried leaves in shrubs and trees up to 2-12 ft above the ground.

Sometimes, the females lay eggs before the nesting gets completed. These birds also tend to lay eggs in the nest of other birds. Usually, two to five light blue-colored eggs are laid and the incubation is done by both male and female and lasts around 9-11 days.

The cuckoo chicks are underdeveloped and require care and food from parents after hatching. The young leave their nest after seven to nine days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoos is Least Concern.

Yellow Billed Cuckoo Fun Facts

What do Yellow Billed Cuckoos look like?

The Yellow-Billed Cuckoos are slim or have slender bodies that are long bodies with long tails. The tail is brown on the upper part and black and white below. These birds have rounded wings and these wings seem to appear reddish.

This bird has a dull yellow colored orbital ring. The crown is noticeably lighter than the other parts. The bill of this bird is similar to the head but is slightly downcurved.

It is yellow, as is clear from their name. These birds have a flat head and their wings are pointed and mostly backward for flight. The patches on the underside of the tail are its most visible features.

Yellow Billed Cuckoo

How cute are they?

These birds are considered to be beautiful and cute because of their slender body and build.

How do they communicate?

A lot is not known about the communication of these birds but both the males and females make a soft and repeated cooing. Males produce this cooing or song to attract females and females produce this song during courtship. They also use sounds as calls. The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo call is hollow and wooden sounding.

How big is a Yellow Billed Cuckoo?

These birds are long and are almost the size of a blue jay or western scrub jay.

How fast can a Yellow Billed Cuckoo fly?

These birds are known to be slow foragers but their flying pattern is a direct flight with steady and quick wing beats with a wingspan range of 15-17 in (380-430 mm). After breeding, these birds fly with a swift and direct motion.

How much does a Yellow Billed Cuckoo weigh?

These birds weigh up to 0.14 lb (0.06 kg) and thus, are light-weighted birds.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of the species.

What would you call a baby Yellow Billed Cuckoo?

The baby of this bird is called a chick.

What do they eat?

While this bird is known to eat large insects like caterpillars, it also feeds on katydids, cicadas, grasshoppers, and crickets. This bird diet also includes other bird eggs, snails, small vertebrates such as frogs and lizards, and also sometimes eat some fruits and seeds.

Are they dangerous?

This bird is not considered dangerous. They are just known to forage quietly and slowly.

Would they make a good pet?

This species of bird is not very common to keep as pets but these birds would not make bad pets as they pose no danger to humans. The only thing to keep in mind while preparing the appropriate habitat for the bird is that there should be some native cottonwood and willow trees.

Also, pesticides should not be used as they can kill the caterpillars and caterpillars are what this bird relies on the most. It should be ensured that the cats are kept distant from these birds.

Did you know...

This bird cuckoo is originally named after the repetitive sound or the song produced by males which sounds like 'ka-ka-kow-kow-kowp-kowp'.

The group of this bird is can be called an asylum and a cooch.

The position of the eyes of this bird helps it see to the rear without even turning its head, therefore, it can see if a predator is coming from behind.

This species is one of the few birds which is known to eat hairy caterpillars and can eat up to 100 caterpillars together in one sitting.

The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo bird does not lay all its eggs at once. After laying one egg, the other could take up to five days. This means that when the oldest chick is close to or ready to leave, the other or the youngest one is hatching.

The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo has white spots on the underside of the tail while the Black-Billed Cuckoo has no such large white spots, they only have small white tips on the feathers of the tail and they lack rufous wings as in the yellow ones.

This bird has the smallest nesting cycle and is also called 'Lazy Bird' as most of the time these birds do not build their own Yellow-Billed Cuckoo nest but rather often lay eggs in the nest of other birds.

The oldest known Yellow-Billed Cuckoo was recorded to live for five years and was founded in Tennesse in 1964.

How to attract a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo?

It is believed that these birds are hard to spot and can only be found through their calls or sounds or songs. They should be found in deciduous forests and trees where there are caterpillars or infestation of insects like cicadas or other arthropods or insects and thus, attracting them is quite difficult.

The repetitive sound or songs produced by males are known to attract mates for breeding.

What does a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo sound like?

The sound of the repetitive cooing or song produced by males to attract females is soft cooing. The males also produce a call that is hollow and wooden-sounding.

This call is slow and keeps getting slower as it progresses towards the end. These calls can last for about eight seconds. The pairs sometimes make a metallic rattling call which sounds like a metal hitting a plate.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including secretary bird, or purple finch.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Yellow Billed Cuckoo coloring pages.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

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Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

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Spandana KantamBachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Acharya Nagarjuna University. She has a passion for writing and enjoys reading crime and thriller novels while listening to RnB music in her free time.

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