Although widespread in both Amazonia and chocó forest, Little Cuckoo is fairly uncommon and often difficult to see. They inhabit the thick lower growth of woodlands and forest edges, frequently occurring near water. Up to five or six subspecies have been described, although a recent review of geographic variation recommended the recognition of only two subspecies: C. m. minuta, which is darker overall and occurs in Amazonia, and C. m. gracilis, which is generally paler and occurs in the chocó west of the Andes. Little Cuckoo is most similar in appearance to Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana), but is much smaller and has a proportionately shorter tail. Indeed, for many years the Little Cuckoo also was classified as another species of Piaya, although genetic evidence reveals that the Little Cuckoo is more closely related to the Dwarf Cuckoo (Coccycua pumila) and the Ash-colored Cuckoo (Coccycua cinerea). Little Cuckoo also usually skulks though low undergrowth, whereas Squirrel Cuckoo inhabits the upper stories.