Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana

  • Order: Cuculiformes
  • Family: Cuculidae
  • Polytypic: 14 subspecies
  • Authors: Jenny Fitzgerald, Thomas S. Schulenberg, and Glenn F. Seeholzer

The Squirrel Cuckoo is a pan-Neotropical inhabitant of a large diversity of forested, wooded, and disturbed habitats across the entire humidity gradient from tropical deciduous forest, coffee plantations, and gallery forests to primary humid lowland rainforest. It is common and is most often seen in gliding from one tree to another, or energetically hopping from branch to branch in search of a wide variety of arthropods. Though distinctive throughout its range it is highly polytypic with fourteen subspecies that vary in the coloration of their underparts, throat, bare parts, and tail. Some of these subspecies are quite distinct, and due to their lack of  integration with adjoining subspecies perhaps represent separate species.

© Geoffrey A. Keller

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

Recommended Citation

Fitzgerald, J., T. S. Schulenberg, and G. F. Seeholzer (2011). Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.squcuc1.01