Bay-breasted Cuckoo

Scientific Name
Coccyzus rufigularis
Conservation Status
Endangered (EN)

Recent Nearby Sightings

Range Map

Wikipedia Article

The Bay-breasted Cuckoo (Coccyzus rufigularis) is a species of cuckoo that is endemic to the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. It has a length of roughly . C. rufigularis possesses a curved bill, a burnt reddish throat and breast, a black tail, and white-tipped retrices. In the Dominican Republic, it is known locally as "Ca". "Cua" comes from the call it makes, followed by a "u-ak-u-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak ak-ak" sound. Its preferred habitat seems to between dry forest and moist broad leaf forest. The birds are common to lowlands, sometimes arid lowlands, and has been reported to be seen in mixed pine and montane rain forest. They feed on insects and lizards. Their breeding period is short, which seems to be related to the onset of the wet season and arrival of cicadas; cicadas are the most abundant food source for the bird. The birds are very localized, and don't spread out often. There are only two confirmed breeding areas, near the villages of Puerto Escondido and Rio Limpio.
The population of C. rufigularis dramatically decreased during the 20th century. It has been completely extirpated from Gonve Island, and nearly so from Haiti. Population estimates have it between 2,500- 10,000. These numbers are declining due to deforestation for agriculture, over grazing, and possibly agrochemicals. The Dominican Republic has four conservations areas where this and other species can be protected. Only two of the sites are keeping records on the birds condition, Sierra de Bahoruco and Nalga de Maco National Parks. Trend suggestions predict that decline in population may slow down within the next ten years.