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Lesser Ground-Cuckoo Morococcyx erythropygus

  • Order: Cuculiformes
  • Family: Cuculidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Guy M. Kirwan, and Thomas S. Schulenberg
  • © Stephen Davies

Lesser Ground-Cuckoo is endemic to the Pacific slope of Middle America. It is found in arid lowland scrub and tropical deciduous forest below 1800 m from western Mexico south to northwestern Costa Rica. This is a very distinctive species, currently placed in a monotypic genus. Lesser Ground-Cuckoo is largely brown above with a long graduated tail, and is buffy orange below, with a whitish supercilium and a patch of bare blue skin behind the eye. The bill is slightly decurved. This cuckoo feeds principally on open ground or, more commonly, within the understory, but despite being rather furtive and sometimes difficult to observe, it is not shy and can sometimes perch in the open for long periods. Lesser Ground-Cuckoo constructs a shallow bowl shaped nest on the ground, using sticks and leaf petioles, and lays two eggs.

Song and bill snap

© David L. Ross, Jr.

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

Recommended Citation

Soberanes-González, C. A., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, M. d. C. Arizmendi, G. M. Kirwan, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Lesser Ground-Cuckoo (Morococcyx erythropygus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.