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Neomorphus squamiger

Scaled Ground-Cuckoo

  • Order: Cuculiformes
  • Family: Cuculidae

Authors: Kirwan, Guy M

Neomorphus squamiger

Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso, Brazil; 26 June 2014 © Jorge Lopes - Cristalino Lodge

The Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is almost endemic to Brazil, where it is best known from the region of the lower Rio Tapajós in southeast Amazonia, but its range just extends to eastern Peru and northern Bolivia. This large, principally terrestrial species is frequently considered a subspecies of the Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus geoffroyi), especially given that there seems to be little genetic distinction between them. However, in plumage, the Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is relatively distinctive, in particular because of its lack of a black breast band. Its vocalizations are not well known, but include the distinctive bill clapping given by all ground-cuckoos. Like all of its congeners, the Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is a rare, local, and heavily unrecorded species, which is found singly or in pairs, usually attending army ant swarms.

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Recommended Citation

Kirwan, Guy M. 2010. Scaled Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus squamiger), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

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