Dark-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melacoryphus

  • Order: Cuculiformes
  • Family: Cuculidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Adam Damon


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Dark-billed Cuckoo
eBird range map for Dark-billed Cuckoo

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Dark-billed Cuckoo has a very broad geographic distribution across South America, from the north end of South America in Venezuela and the Guianas to Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil; the Galapagos Islands, and Margarita Island; and reaching as far south as northern Argentina.

Dark-billed Cuckoo is partially migratory. It is resident west of the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador, and perhaps in Peru (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Schulenberg et al. 2010). Distribution in Peru and adjacent sites of Dark-billed Cuckoo; all records from eastern Peru are from March-October. Solid circles: specimen records; open circles; sight records; dotted line: 1000 m contour (Schulenberg et al. 2006) Southern populations (in southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina) are present only during the austral summer (October to January or February) (Payne 1984); in much of the Amazon, however, it is present only during the austral winter (March-October) (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Schulenberg et al. 2010). Breeds in the llanos of Venezuela (May-October), but is rare or absent there December-April (Hilty 2003).

Dark-billed Cuckoo primarily occurs in the lowlands, e.g. up to 950 m in Venezuela (Hilty 2003), but occasionally is reported up to 3600 m (Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Dark-billed Cuckoo occurs in tropical deciduous forest, gallery forest, river edge forest, forest edges, mangroves, and tall second growth.

Historical changes

No specific historical changes documented for this species.

Fossil history

None for this species specifically documented. However, fossils of the Cuculidae are poorly represented in the lower Tertiary of Europe and North America and in the Pleistocene of Brazil (Sick 1993).
The lack of fossils of Coccyzus melacoryphus on Floreana Island today has been proposed as evidence that it colonized the Galapagos very recently (Steadman 1986).

Recommended Citation

Damon, A. (2012). Dark-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus melacoryphus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.dabcuc1.01