Cocos Cuckoo Coccyzus ferrugineus

Javier Tenorio Brenes
Version: 2.0 — Published October 22, 2020

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

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Vocal Array

Vocalizations of Cocos Cuckoo have not been studied in detail, and there are no known audio recordings of this species. The song consists of a guttural Eeh-eeh-eeh-eeh-eeh-eeeh-eeeehh.. During copulation, a similar vocalization is given, but consisting only of short Eeeh notes separated one from other for 1-2 s, rather than the longer, more continuous series. A begging call given by the juvenile is a brief guttural call chur-rr; this call is repeated every 2-5 seconds, sometimes for up to 45 minutes, and increases in both frequency and volume when an adult appears, until the juvenile is fed (1).


Song is heard most frequently during the breeding season (January-mid April); otherwise the cuckoo is very quiet; this, and its generally stealthy behavior, makes the cuckoo perhaps the most difficult bird to detect on the island.

Daily Pattern of Vocalizing

Singing is more frequent during mornings (from dawn to noon) (1).

Places of Vocalizing

Usually sings from the midstory or canopy, at least 10 m above the ground; observed only once singing at ground level (1).

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Tenorio Brenes, J. (2020). Cocos Cuckoo (Coccyzus ferrugineus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, S. M. Billerman, and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.coccuc1.02