11-13 1/2" (28-34 cm). A long, slender bird with, gray-brown back, and white underparts. Red-brown in primary feathers of the wings, most noticeable in flight; long, black tail with large white spots at tips of undertail feathers. Yellow lower mandible on the slightly curved bill.
Similar Species- Black-billed Cuckoo
Song is a long, rapid, throaty ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-kow-kow- kowlp-kowlp--kowlp--kowlp, slowing toward the end.
Breeds from interior California, east to northern Utah, Minnesota, and New Brunswick, and south to southern Baja California, Mexico, and Gulf Coast. Winters in southern Central America and South America.
Eats mainly caterpillars. Will also eat other insects, some fruits, and occasionally, small lizards and frogs.
Buiilds untidy nest in tree or shrub; occasionally uses nest of other species. Forages or hovers in foliage. Rare in Idaho, and present only in summer. Species is declining in parts of range due to deterioration of riparian habitat.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Taylor, D.M. and C.H. Trost. 1987. The status of rare birds in Idaho. Murrelet 68:69-93.