Everglades Birding Logo


Mangrove Cuckoo

Everglades Birding: Mangrove Cuckoo This pretty, quiet bird breeds in mangrove swamps here in South Florida - the only place it is found in the United States. This makes Everglades National Park one of the primary breeding grounds for them here. Even though they are quiet - virtually silent except during breeding season, they are heard more often than seen. They subsist on insects and small amphibians - will remain motionless for long periods of time waiting for something to come near. Once that happens, it takes quick action to catch its prey.

The Mangrove Cuckoo is tough to find for multiple reasons - it resides in thick, mangrove cover, has muted colors and is mostly silent. You have to be very patient and more than a little lucky to find this species.

According to the Cornell Lab of Orinthology, the Mangrove Cuckoo has four toes on each foot in a "zygodactyl" arrangement, with two toes forward and two behind, rather than the three-forward, one-back of most other birds. The picture here was taken from far away so you can't see the detail all that well but you can see those toes are definitely made to grip!

To hear a sound recording of its call and for more information, go to the The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website.

To view the picture larger, just click on it - then use the back arrow on your browser to return to this page.

To go back to Bird List, click here.