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Mangrove Cuckoo


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Mangrove Cuckoo is a tropical bird that is found in the United States only in the mangroves along the southern coasts of Florida. In the main part of its range, from Mexico to South America and in the Caribbean, it is not restricted to mangroves, but lives in a variety of lowland habitats.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
11–12.6 in
28–32 cm
2.3–2.5 oz
65–70 g
Other Names
  • Coucou manioc gris, Coulicou des palétuviers (French)
  • Cuclillo manglero (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Mangrove Cuckoo was once thought to be fully migratory in Florida, but, winter sightings are becoming increasingly frequent in all parts of its Florida range. It is silent outside of the breeding season, and consequently becomes almost undetectable.
  • Like other cuckoos, the Mangrove Cuckoo has four toes on each foot in a "zygodactyl" arrangement, with two toes forward and two behind, rather than the three-forward, one-back of most other birds.



Mangrove swamps, tropical thickets and scrub.



Caterpillars, grasshoppers, insect larvae, spiders, frogs, beetles, lizards, bird eggs and nestlings.


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.
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.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Waits 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.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

There 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.


  • Hughes, J. M. 1997. Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor). In The Birds of North America, No. 299 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
  • North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
  • Partners in Flight. 2012. Species assessment database.

Range Map Help

Mangrove Cuckoo Range Map
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