Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo Coccyzus pluvialis

  • © Sam Woods

The Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo is a large and distinctive Cuckoo endemic to the island of Jamaica. This species is mainly a resident throughout the islands, though changes in abundance with respect to altitude has lead to the suspicion that they move to lower latitudes during the winter. The far-reaching, distinctive song can be heard more often than this fairly reclusive bird can be seen, and is a deep and gutteral long series of extended croaks. When seen, the Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo can move surprisingly stealthily through low and medium-height vegitation, running along and bounding between branched with its tail held low, or sitting still for extended periods of time. The Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo occurs in lowland and montane evergreen forest, as well as secondary forest and forest edge. The Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo shows a dark gray cap, a long, purplish, graduated tail, a short, heavy, downcurved bill, and a chestnut wash to the underparts; and all of these marks set this species apart from any other cuckoo on Jamaica. The similar Bay-breasted Cuckoo (Coccyzus rufigularis) occurs only on the island of Hispaniola.

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© Robert L. Sutton

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

Recommended Citation

Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo (Coccyzus pluvialis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: