Mangrove Cuckoo Life History


Habitat ForestsMangrove swamps, tropical thickets and scrub.Back to top


Food Small AnimalsCaterpillars, grasshoppers, insect larvae, spiders, frogs, beetles, lizards, bird eggs and nestlings.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Tree

Nest Description

Flimsy shallow platform of twigs, lined sparingly with bits of plant matter. Placed on branch or fork of mangrove, small tree or shrub.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:1-4 eggs
Egg Description:Pale bluish green fading to light greenish yellow, unmarked.
Condition at Hatching:Unknown, but probably like other cuckoos: helpless, but alert and active within minutes of hatching, with shiny black skin and no down.
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Behavior Foliage GleanerWaits motionless for long periods, watching for prey to move. Makes running, hopping dashes to catch prey. Works large prey back and forth through its bill before swallowing.Back to top


Conservation Restricted RangeThere is little information on population trends of Mangrove Cuckoo. These birds are uncommon in Florida, the one location where they are found in the U.S., and appear to be declining. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 200,000, with 5% living in the U.S., and 42% in Mexico. The species rates a 14 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Mangrove Cuckoo is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action.Back to top


Hughes, Janice M. (2012). Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

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