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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo Neomorphus rufipennis

Janice M. Hughes
Version: 1.0 — Published January 5, 2018


Distribution in the Americas

Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo is endemic to northern Amazonia (Stotz et al. 1996).

This species is found locally in southern and eastern Venezuela, primarily in Bolívar and north and central Amazonas states (Haffer 1977, Meyer de Schauensee and Phelps 1978, Hilty 2003). Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo also occurs in western Guyana (Siparumi, Ituribisi, Superaam, and Mazarumi Rivers, Iwokrama Reserve near Kurupaki, Kamakusa, Annai, and Bartica; Snyder 1966, Payne 2005, Ridgely et al. 2005).

In addition, Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo has been recorded in northern Brazil in the upper Rio Branco Valley (Department Roraima; Pelzeln 1871, Haffer 1977, Meyer de Schauensee and Phelps 1978) and upper Rio Negro Valley, Amazonas, Brazil (Sick 1997).

A report of this cuckoo in Chiribiquete, Colombia (Stiles et al. 1995) is pending publication of sonogram or other verifiable documentation (Donegan et al. 2010). There is also an unconfirmed sight record of Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo in Suriname (Donahue and Pierson 1982, Ottema et al. 2009).

The extent of the range of Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo is approximately 915,000 km2 (Birdlife International 2017).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to South America. Nonmigratory.


Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo occupies tropical lowland evergreen forest (Parker et al. 1996) and upland terra firma forest (Zimmer and Hilty 1997); it sometimes also occurs in seasonally-flooded (várzea) forest in Venezuela (Erritzöe et al. 2012). Prefers foothill zone of mountains from 100 to 1100 m (Meyer de Schauensee and Phelps 1978, Parker et al. 1996, Hilty 2003). It is found primarily in undisturbed forest but can be observed rarely in disturbed forest in the Iwokrama Forest Reserve, Guyana (Ridgley et al. 2005).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

No fossils have been found. However, Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo may have originated in the Guiana Center area of northern Amazonia during the Quaternary or late Tertiary due to a substantial sea-level rise that would have fragmented the Amazonian lowlands and favored active allopatric speciation (Nores 1999).

Distribution of the Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo

Recommended Citation

Hughes, J. M. (2018). Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus rufipennis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.rwgcuc1.01