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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version

 - Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo
 - Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo

Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo Neomorphus rufipennis

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

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This mysterious species was first described more than 150 years ago from one specimen collected on the lower Orinoco River in Venezuela; since that time, we have garnered virtually no additional knowledge on the life history of Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo. For example, the assumption that the species is not brood parasitic (as are many other cuckoo species) is based on a single observation of a young bird accompanied by its parents while they foraged on an anthill. Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo is often wary of intruders and, as such, it may be difficult to observe as it runs swiftly along the forest floor. It can be most easily detected by its loud single-noted hooting vocalization, which is somewhat dove-like in nature, and its distinctive bill-snapping. Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo occurs at low density in the tropical lowland forest of northern Amazonia, from eastern Colombia to southern Venezuela, Guyana, and the northern tip of Brazil in the state of Roraima. It is generally thought that the distribution of the Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo does not overlap with any of its congeners, although it is possible that Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo (N. pucheranii) may occur sympatrically with Rufous-winged in the upper Rio Negro region of southern Colombia. Nevertheless, Rufous-winged is unlikely to be confused with Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo due to its blacker head and breast, prominent reddish-brown wings, and dark (not red) bill.

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