Order
Cuculiformes
Family
Cuculidae
Genus
Neomorphus
Neotropical Birds logo
Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version

 - Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo
 - Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo
Listen

Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo Neomorphus pucheranii

Janice M. Hughes
Version: 1.0 — Published December 1, 2017

Sign in to see your badges

Welcome to Birds of the World!

You are currently viewing one of the free accounts available in our complimentary tour of Birds of the World. In this courtesy review, you can access all the life history articles and the multimedia galleries associated with this account.

For complete access to all accounts, a subscription is required.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Despite its showy red bill and bright orbital skin, Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo is elusive and poorly known. It is endemic to the lowlands of western Amazonia from northeastern Peru and western Brazil east to the Rio Negro; in addition, there are sight records from southeastern Colombia and eastern Ecuador. Although Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo occupies this large geographic area, it is considered rare, and likely occurs at very low density throughout its range. Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo may prove to be sympatric with the better-known Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus geoffroyi) in areas of southern Colombia and northern Peru; this being the case, Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo cam be distinguished by its red bill, black crown and crest, and cinnamon-buff belly. Similar to other species of Neomorphus, Red-billed Ground-Cuckoos follow army ant swarms and herds of peccaries, running and jumping quickly to capture fleeing insects that are flushed from the vegetation. In addition, Red-billed Ground-Cuckoos have established a commensal relationship with Brown-mantled (Saguinus fuscicollis) and Moustached (S. myxtax) tamarins in northeastern Amazonian Peru, in which the ground-cuckoo lingers on the ground beneath monkeys feeding in the canopy, thus taking advantage of the used and partially-used fruits that are dropped from above. On one occasion, a Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo was observed resting, preening, and sunning at close proximity in the same tree as a troop of tamarins doing likewise. Red-billed Ground-Cuckoos make a nonvocal bill-snapping call while foraging and when disturbed, similar to other ground-cuckoos; the song is a deep moo note that is repeated steadily for a minute or longer. Unfortunately, much of the life history of this interesting terrestrial cuckoo remains a mystery.

Distribution of the Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo
Enlarge
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo

Recommended Citation

Hughes, J. M. (2017). Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus pucheranii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.rbgcuc1.01