Banded Ground-Cuckoo Neomorphus radiolosus

  • © Glenn Bartley

The genus Neomorphus is well known for being rare, elusive and spectacular, and none embodies these aspects more than the Banded Ground-Cuckoo. This species is a legendarily rare and difficult to see resident of primary rainforest in the Choco region of extreme northwest Ecuador and southwest Colombia.  The Banded Ground-Cuckoo  follows swarms of army ants with mixed-species flocks of birds, and can be missed easily, due to its behavior of sitting very still in dense vegetation. When detected, this bird is almost always initially heard, giving its rising, hollow call, which is ventriloqual, and  sounds much farther away than the bird actually is. If the observer is careful to scan all the low vegetation nearby, the Banded Ground-Cuckoo may be able to be seen as it sits and calls, or chases after and arthropod. Very little is known about this species, and indeed nothing was known away from a few scattered records until a small population was discovered at Estación Biológica Jatun Sacha Bilsa in Ecuador in 1998, where its breeding and behavior has been observed with some regularity ever since.

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Banded Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: