Coccyzus americanus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Other English Common Names: yellow-billed cuckoo
Other Common Names: Papa-Lagarta-de-Asa-Vermelha
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Coccyzus americanus (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 177831)
French Common Names: Coulicou à bec jaune
Spanish Common Names: Cuclillo Pico Amarillo, Tujacue
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105709
Element Code: ABNRB02020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Cuculiformes Cuculidae Coccyzus
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Coccyzus americanus
Taxonomic Comments: Banks (1988) concluded that morphological differences among geographic samples were inadequate to justify the recognition of the eastern (C. a. americanus) and western (C. a. occidentalis) subspecies. Franzreb and Laymon (1993, cited in USFWS 2000) found small but statistically significant differences between the two groups and, while stating that the evidence for recognition of the two subspecies was equivocal, recommended retaining them until further studies provided more information. California Department of Fish and Game evidently disagrees with this conclusion and believes that C. a. occidentalis is worthy of recognition and deserves federal protection as an Endangered species (California Department of Fish and Game 1990). May form a superspecies with C. euleri (AOU 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 27Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread and common in core of range. Causes of declines in eastern and central North America unclear, thus it is not certain what actions should be taken to reverse them. Western populations deserve special attention.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4B,NUM (13Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5B), Arizona (S3), Arkansas (S3B), California (SNRB), Colorado (S3B), Connecticut (S4B), Delaware (S4B), District of Columbia (S2B,S3N), Florida (SNRB), Georgia (S5), Idaho (S1B), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4B), Iowa (S3B), Kansas (S5B), Kentucky (S5B), Louisiana (S5B), Maine (S3?B), Maryland (S5B), Massachusetts (S4B,S4N), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (S5B), Missouri (SNRB), Montana (S3B), Navajo Nation (S1B), Nebraska (S5), Nevada (S1B), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S5B), New Mexico (S3B,S3N), New York (S5B), North Carolina (S5B), North Dakota (SU), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S5B), Oregon (SHB), Pennsylvania (S4B), Rhode Island (S5B,S5N), South Carolina (S4B), South Dakota (S3B), Tennessee (S4S5), Texas (S4S5B), Utah (S2B), Vermont (S3B), Virginia (S5B), Washington (SH), West Virginia (S5B), Wisconsin (S3B), Wyoming (S1)
Canada British Columbia (SXB), Ontario (S4B), Quebec (S2S3)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS
Comments on USESA: Listed threatened in the Western U.S. Distinct Population Segment (DPS) (subspecies occidentalis).
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The breeding range extends from interior California to southern Idaho, southeastern Montana, the Dakotas, southern Manitoba (rarely), Minnesota, and New Brunswick, and south to southern Baja California, southern Arizona, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, the U.S. Gulf Coast, and the Florida Keys; sporadically farther south in Mexico and in the Greater Antilles (AOU 1998). The species is uncommon on Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico; rare in the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and northern Lesser Antilles (Saint Martin)m and possibly occurs in the Bahamas and Lesser Antilles (Raffaele et al. 1998). Yellow-billed cuckoos formerly nested in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. Based on Breeding Bird Survey data (Sauer et al. 2008), this species is most abundant in the south-central United States (Kansas and Missouri southward to Texas and Mississippi). During the nonbreeding season, yellow-billed cuckoos occur from southern Central America (rare and local in Costa Rica) and northern South America (and Trinidad and Tobago) south to eastern Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina (AOU 1998) and occur rarely in the West Indies (Raffaele et al. 1998).

Area of Occupancy: >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by hundreds of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but is likely to be considerably more than 10,000 pairs.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Many occurrences appear to have at least good estimated viability.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: In western North America, large declines in distribution and abundance have occurred as a result of loss, degradation, and fragmentation of riparian habitat (see information for subspecies occidentalis). Causes of decline in central and eastern North America are uncertain.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: BBS survey-wide data for 1998-2007 indicate a decline of -0.92 percent per year (Sauer et al. 2008).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate a significant abundance decline of 1.7 percent per year in North America, 1966-2007 (Sauer et al. 2008). The decline was 2.1 percent per year for the period 1980-2007, but the species increased 3.4 percent per year during 1966-1979, indicating that the decline is mostly recent. See also the information for subspecies occidentalis.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Maintain trends monitoring, especially BBS. Determine how accurately BBS-type surveys are measuring real population sizes and changes.

Protection Needs: Habitat protection, particularly western riparian systems, is a priority on breeding and nonbreeding grounds.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) The breeding range extends from interior California to southern Idaho, southeastern Montana, the Dakotas, southern Manitoba (rarely), Minnesota, and New Brunswick, and south to southern Baja California, southern Arizona, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, the U.S. Gulf Coast, and the Florida Keys; sporadically farther south in Mexico and in the Greater Antilles (AOU 1998). The species is uncommon on Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico; rare in the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and northern Lesser Antilles (Saint Martin)m and possibly occurs in the Bahamas and Lesser Antilles (Raffaele et al. 1998). Yellow-billed cuckoos formerly nested in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. Based on Breeding Bird Survey data (Sauer et al. 2008), this species is most abundant in the south-central United States (Kansas and Missouri southward to Texas and Mississippi). During the nonbreeding season, yellow-billed cuckoos occur from southern Central America (rare and local in Costa Rica) and northern South America (and Trinidad and Tobago) south to eastern Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina (AOU 1998) and occur rarely in the West Indies (Raffaele et al. 1998).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada BCextirpated, ON, QC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001), Cochise (04003), Gila (04007), Graham (04009), Greenlee (04011), La Paz (04012), Maricopa (04013), Mohave (04015), Pima (04019), Pinal (04021), Santa Cruz (04023), Yavapai (04025), Yuma (04027)
CA Butte (06007), Colusa (06011), Fresno (06019)*, Glenn (06021), Humboldt (06023), Imperial (06025), Inyo (06027), Kern (06029), Lake (06033)*, Los Angeles (06037)*, Madera (06039)*, Orange (06059)*, Riverside (06065), Sacramento (06067), San Benito (06069)*, San Bernardino (06071), San Diego (06073), San Joaquin (06077)*, San Luis Obispo (06079)*, Santa Clara (06085)*, Siskiyou (06093)*, Solano (06095), Sonoma (06097), Stanislaus (06099)*, Sutter (06101), Tehama (06103), Tulare (06107)*, Ventura (06111)*, Yolo (06113), Yuba (06115)
CO Garfield (08045), La Plata (08067)*
ID Ada (16001), Bannock (16005), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Boise (16015), Bonneville (16019), Canyon (16027), Cassia (16031), Clark (16033), Custer (16037), Elmore (16039), Fremont (16043), Idaho (16049)*, Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Latah (16057), Lemhi (16059), Madison (16065), Minidoka (16067), Owyhee (16073), Twin Falls (16083)
MT Big Horn (30003), Carbon (30009), Carter (30011)*, Custer (30017), Gallatin (30031), Madison (30057), Rosebud (30087)*, Stillwater (30095), Yellowstone (30111)
ND Bowman (38011), Burleigh (38015)*, Cass (38017)*, McKenzie (38053)*, Morton (38059)*, Richland (38077)*, Stutsman (38093)*
NJ Atlantic (34001), Burlington (34005), Cape May (34009), Cumberland (34011), Monmouth (34025), Ocean (34029), Sussex (34037)
NM Dona Ana (35013), Grant (35017), Sierra (35051), Union (35059)
NV Churchill (32001)*, Clark (32003), Elko (32007)*, Eureka (32011)*, Humboldt (32013)*, Lincoln (32017), Lyon (32019), Nye (32023), Washoe (32031)*, White Pine (32033)*
OR Deschutes (41017)*, Linn (41043)*, Malheur (41045)*, Union (41061)*
UT Grand (49019), Morgan (49029)*, Salt Lake (49035)*, San Juan (49037)*, Uintah (49047), Utah (49049), Wasatch (49051), Washington (49053), Weber (49057)*
WA Franklin (53021)+, Grant (53025)+, Snohomish (53061)+, Walla Walla (53071)+
WY Albany (56001), Crook (56011)*, Fremont (56013)*, Goshen (56015), Johnson (56019), Natrona (56025), Platte (56031)*, Sheridan (56033), Sweetwater (56037), Uinta (56041)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Rondout (02020007)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+
09 Upper Red (09020104)+*, Lower Sheyenne (09020204)+*
10 Jefferson (10020005)+, Gallatin (10020008)+, Upper Yellowstone-Lake Basin (10070004)+, Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+, Upper Wind (10080001)+*, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Lower Tongue (10090102)+, Upper Powder (10090202)+, Clear (10090206)+, Mizpah (10090210)+*, Lower Yellowstone-Sunday (10100001)+, Rosebud (10100003)+*, Upper Little Missouri (10110201)+, Middle Little Missouri (10110203)+, Lower Little Missouri (10110205)+*, Upper Belle Fourche (10120201)+*, Redwater (10120203)+*, Painted Woods-Square Butte (10130101)+*, Upper Lake Oahe (10130102)+*, Apple (10130103)+*, Lower Heart (10130203)+*, North Fork Grand (10130301)+, James Headwaters (10160001)+*, Pipestem (10160002)+*, Upper James (10160003)+*, Middle North Platte-Casper (10180007)+, Glendo Reservoir (10180008)+*, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+, Horse (10180012)+
11 Ute (11080007)+*, Punta De Agua (11090102)+*, Rita Blanca (11090103)+, Carrizo (11090104)+*, Upper Beaver (11100101)+
13 Elephant Butte Reservoir (13020211)+*, El Paso-Las Cruces (13030102)+
14 Colorado headwaters-Plateau (14010005)+, Westwater Canyon (14030001)+, Upper Colorado-Kane Springs (14030005)+*, Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+*, Blacks Fork (14040107)+*, Muddy (14040108)+*, Lower White (14050007)+, Lower Green-Diamond (14060001)+, Duchesne (14060003)+, Lower Green-Desolation Canyon (14060005)+, Willow (14060006)+, Animas (14080104)+*, Lower San Juan-Four Corners (14080201)+*
15 Lake Mead (15010005)+, Hualapai Wash (15010007)+, Upper Virgin (15010008)+, Fort Pierce Wash (15010009)+, Lower Virgin (15010010)+, White (15010011)+, Muddy (15010012)+, Meadow Valley Wash (15010013)+, Las Vegas Wash (15010015)+, Little Colorado headwaters (15020001)+, Upper Little Colorado (15020002)+, Lower Puerco (15020007)+, Havasu-Mohave Lakes (15030101)+, Imperial Reservoir (15030104)+, Lower Colorado (15030107)+, Big Sandy (15030201)+, Burro (15030202)+, Santa Maria (15030203)+, Bill Williams (15030204)+, Upper Gila-Mangas (15040002)+, San Francisco (15040004)+, Upper Gila-San Carlos Reservoir (15040005)+, San Simon (15040006)+, Middle Gila (15050100)+, Willcox Playa (15050201)+, Upper San Pedro (15050202)+, Lower San Pedro (15050203)+, Upper Santa Cruz (15050301)+, Rillito (15050302)+, Lower Santa Cruz (15050303)+, Brawley Wash (15050304)+, Upper Salt (15060103)+, Tonto (15060105)+, Lower Salt (15060106)+, Upper Verde (15060202)+, Lower Verde (15060203)+, Lower Gila-Painted Rock Reservoir (15070101)+, Agua Fria (15070102)+, Hassayampa (15070103)+, Lower Gila (15070201)+, Rio De La Concepcion (15080200)+, San Bernardino Valley (15080302)+
16 Lower Weber (16020102)+*, Utah Lake (16020201)+, Spanish Fork (16020202)+, Provo (16020203)+, Jordan (16020204)+*, Thousand-Virgin (16040205)+*, Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes (16050103)+*, Middle Carson (16050202)+, Carson Desert (16050203)+*, Diamond-Monitor Valleys (16060005)+*, Little Smoky-Newark Valleys (16060006)+*, Long-Ruby Valleys (16060007)+*
17 Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Lower Crab (17020015), Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Teton (17040204)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Blackfoot (17040207)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Medicine Lodge (17040215)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Upper Owyhee (17050104)+, Lower Owyhee (17050110)+*, Boise-Mores (17050112)+, South Fork Boise (17050113)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, South Fork Payette (17050120)+, Upper Grande Ronde (17060104)+*, Palouse (17060108)+, Lower Snake (17060110), Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+*, Clearwater (17060306)+, Walla Walla (17070102), Upper Deschutes (17070301)+*, Upper Willamette (17090003)+*, South Santiam (17090006)+*, Lake Washington (17110012), Alvord Lake (17120009)+*
18 Lower Eel (18010105)+, Gualala-Salmon (18010109)+, Russian (18010110)+*, Shasta (18010207)+*, Sacramento headwaters (18020005)+*, Sacramento-Stone Corral (18020104)+, Lower American (18020111)+*, Upper Stony (18020115)+, Upper Cache (18020116)+*, Upper Yuba (18020125)+*, Thomes Creek-Sacramento River (18020156)+, Big Chico Creek-Sacramento River (18020157)+, Butte Creek (18020158)+, Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather (18020159)+, Upper Coon-Upper Auburn (18020161)+*, Upper Putah (18020162)+, Lower Sacramento (18020163)+, South Fork Kern (18030002)+, Middle Kern-Upper Tehachapi- (18030003)+*, Upper Kaweah (18030007)+*, Upper Dry (18030009)+*, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040001)+*, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040002)+*, San Joaquin Delta (18040003)+*, Upper Stanislaus (18040010)+*, Upper Mokelumne (18040012)+, San Pablo Bay (18050002)+*, Coyote (18050003)+*, Pajaro (18060002)+*, Central Coastal (18060006)+*, Santa Clara (18070102)+*, Calleguas (18070103)+*, Santa Monica Bay (18070104)+*, Los Angeles (18070105)+*, San Gabriel (18070106)+*, Seal Beach (18070201)+*, San Jacinto (18070202)+, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Newport Bay (18070204)+*, Santa Margarita (18070302)+*, San Luis Rey-Escondido (18070303)+, San Diego (18070304)+, Crowley Lake (18090102)+, Owens Lake (18090103)+, Upper Amargosa (18090202)+, Mojave (18090208)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A bird (cuckoo).
Reproduction Comments: Breeding often coincides with the appearance of massive numbers of cicadas, caterpillars, or other large insects (Ehrlich et al. 1992). Clutch size is one to five (commonly two to three), largest when prey is abundant. Clutch sizes greater than six attributable to more than one female laying in nest (Hughes 1999). Incubation lasts 9-11, shared by male and female during day; male incubates at night (Hamilton and Hamilton 1965, Potter 1980, Potter 1981). Young are tended by both parents, climb in branches at seven-nine days. Sometimes lays eggs in the nests of Black-billed Cuckoo (COCCYZUS ERYTHROPTHALMUS) or (rarely) other species (Ehrlich et al. 1992).
Ecology Comments: Territory size averages 20-24 hectares (S. Laymon, in Riparian Habitat Joint Venture 2000).

Known predators of adults include Aplomado Falcon (FALCO FEMORALIS), Red-shouldered Hawk (BUTEO LINEATUS), and other raptors; of eggs and young include Blue Jay (CYANOCITTA CRISTATA), Common Grackle (QUISCALUS QUISCULA), Black Racer (COLUBER CONSTRICTOR) and Eastern Chipmunk (TAMIAS STRIATUS) (Hughes 1999). Occasional host for Brown-headed Cowbird (MOLOTHRUS ATER), Bronzed Cowbird (MOLOTHRUS AENEUS), and Black-billed Cuckoo (COCCYZUS ERYTHROPTHALMUS) (Hughes 1999).

Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates regularly through the southern U.S., Middle America, and West Indies (sometimes large numbers in fall in Puerto Rico, Raffaele 1983). Birds from North America may migrate through Puerto Rico, but a small breeding population may be resident all year (Kepler and Kepler 1978). Migrants noted in April-May in Jamaica (Lack 1976). Migrates through Costa Rica mid-August to early November and late April-early June (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Arrives in California breeding grounds usually in early June (Biosystems Analysis 1989).
Estuarine Habitat(s): Scrub-shrub wetland
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Old field, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: BREEDING: Open woodland (especially where undergrowth is thick), parks, deciduous riparian woodland; in the West, nests in tall cottonwood and willow riparian woodland. Nests in deciduous woodlands, moist thickets, orchards, overgrown pastures; in tree, shrub, or vine, an average of 1-3 meters above ground (Harrison 1979). Subspecies OCCIDENTALIS requires patches of at least 10 hectares (25 acres) of dense riparian forest with a canopy cover of at least 50 percent in both the understory and overstory; nests typically in mature willows (Biosystems Analysis 1989).

NONBREEDING: forest, woodland, and scrub. Also mangroves in Puerto Rico (Raffaele 1983).

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly caterpillars; also other insects, some fruits, sometimes small lizards and frogs and bird eggs (Terres 1980). Gleans food from branches or foliage, or sallies from a perch to catch prey on the wing (Ehrlich et al. 1992).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 31 centimeters
Weight: 64 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Summer distribution throughout much of the eastern and Midwestern United States. Once common in the west, now rare and local, extirpated from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, possibly Nevada. Winters primarily in South America east of the Andes, may breed in the tropics. Blue listed by Tate (1981). Western population currently under review for federal listing by USFWS; does not yet receive adequate federal due primarily to controversy surrounding the validity of its subspecies status. Listed as endangered in California, listed as threatened or endangered in every western state in which it occurs. From 1980 to 1994 eastern populations declined in all states except Louisiana and South Carolina. Highly significant declines in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, with the greatest decline in Connecticut. Main threats are habitat fragmentation, degradation of riparian woodland due to agricultural and residential development (Dobkin 1994), stochastic extinctions and low colonization rates, flood control (Laymon and Halterman 1987, 1989), riparian habitats invaded by less desirable salt cedar (TAMARIX spp.; Hughes 1999). Highly vulnerable to continued tropical deforestation (Morton 1992), but direct effects on population numbers not quantified. Preserves in the west should include riparian areas with dense stands of cottonwood and willow with an average tree height of 10-15 meters (Anderson and Laymon 1989). Preserves in the east should have open woodlands with clearings and low, dense, shrubby vegetation, associated with watercourses. Management should focus on acquiring and improving riparian habitats, and eliminating pesticide spraying near habitats.
Restoration Potential: May recolonize if suitable habitat is restored. On experimentally replanted sites (11 hectares) in southern California, foraged in second year and nested in third year following replanting, provided that cottonwood growth averaged 3 meters per year. Sites with growth of 2 meters per year or less not used for foraging or nesting by third year (Anderson and Laymon 1989).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: In California, Gaines (1974) defined habitat as willow and cottonwood forests below 1300 meters elevation, greater than 10 hectares in extent, and wider than 100 meters. Laymon and Halterman (1989) concluded that sites greater than 80 hectares (200 acres) in extent and wider than 600 meters (1950 feet) were optimal (100 percent occupancy), sites 41-80 hectares (101-200 acres) in extent and wider than 200 meters (650 feet) were suitable (58.8 percent), sites 20-40 hectares (50-100 acres) in extent and 100-200 meters (325-650 feet) in width were marginal (9.5 percent), and sites less than 15 hectares (38 acres) in extent and less than 100 meters (325 feet) in width were unsuitable. During a four-year study on the Sacramento River, Halterman (1991) found that habitat patch area, the extent of habitat in a 8 kilometer (5 mile) section of river, and presence of low woody vegetation were the most important variables in explaining the distribution of cuckoos. These variables combined explained 46 percent of the variation observed in the distribution of breeding pairs.

Microhabitat requirements are also important. Nesting groves at the South Fork Kern River are characterized by higher canopy closure, higher foliage volume, intermediate basal area, and intermediate tree height when compared to random sites (Laymon et al. 1997). Sites with less than 40 percent canopy closure are unsuitable, those with 40 - 65 percent are marginal to suitable, and those with greater than 65 percent are optimal (Laymon 1998). Lower nesting success for open-cup nesting birds near edges in large habitats and in smaller habitat fragments (Chasko and Gates 1982, Gates and Gysel 1978), and increased nest predation reaching up to 600 meters into forest interior (Wilcove 1985) indicate that reserves less than 100 hectares are less valuable than larger reserves (Wilcove et al. 1986). Simulation modeling demonstrates that populations of fewer than 10 pairs are very unstable and always become extinct in a short period of time (Richter-Dyn and Goel 1972, Roth 1974); a minimum number of 25 pairs in a subpopulation with interchange to other subpopulation should be reasonably safe from extinction by stochastic events (Hughes 1999).

In the northeast and central U.S., and southern Canada, preserves should include woodland, abandoned farmland, overgrown fruit orchards, successional shrubland, dense thickets along streams and marshes(Johnsgard 1979, Peck and James 1983, Eaton 1988, Jauvin 1996), shade trees, gardens (Oberholser 1974). In midwest U.S., also uses willow-dogwood shrub wetlands, and successional hardwood forest with dense stands of small trees 1-7 meters in height; e.g., American Elm and or continuous stands of dense Hawthorn (Nolan 1963, Eastman 1991). In southeastern U.S. occupies hammocks and hardwood forest, particularly those crossed by streams, thickets, swamps, and fencerows (Stevenson and Anderson 1994).

Management Requirements: See California Department of Fish and Game (1990) for a listing of management needs in California. In the west, conservation recommendations summarized in Laymon (1980) include: determine numbers and locations of remnant populations; improve existing, and acquire new riparian habitats; eliminate pesticide spraying in orchards adjacent to riparian areas; and investigate feasibility of captive breeding and reintroduction to naturally regenerated or reforested habitat. Riparian vegetation propagation and site management techniques are outlined in Anderson and Laymon (1989). Grazing should be removed to allow natural regeneration and encourage increased density of cottonwoods and willows.
Monitoring Requirements: Population densities may be highly variable locally (Eaton 1988) depending on food availability; large localized influxes during times of insect abundances (Veit and Petersen 1993). Estimates made over 1-2 year period must be assessed with caution (Groschupf 1987). Population density may be underestimated due to quiet demeanor and skulking behavior, easily overlooked when silent. Conventional observation, mist netting (Rappole et al. 1993), or listening-post techniques are inadequate for estimating density; counting responses to playback is preferable (Hamilton and Hamilton 1965). Overlapping territories increase difficulty in monitoring and the only way to get a complete survey is to locate all or most of the nests which is a very time-consuming and difficult task (Laymon, pers. comm.).
Management Research Needs: Many aspects of life history require further study, including spacing and site tenacity, fecundity and mortality, mating systems, population structure and regulation. Habitat and ecological requirements on migratory routes and wintering grounds in Central and South America should be investigated. (Hughes 1999). Wintering grounds for western subspecies has not yet been located (Laymon and Halterman 1987). Pesticide load and source should be investigated; significant eggshell thinning and low to moderate levels of DDT and DDE have been detected (Laymon, pers. comm). Detailed censuses of declining western populations must continue in order to determine effective population sizes necessary for future conservation programs. Unoccupied suitable habitat still remains in the northwest U.S., and feasibility of a captive breeding and reintroduction program should be examined. Baseline population estimates are required in Mexico as this population may represent the largest remaining reserve for recolonization. It is imperative that western population receive both federal and state protection status so that conservation measures such as habitat protection and restoration can be implemented (Hughes 1999).
Biological Research Needs: Cause(s) of declines in eastern and central populations need to be determined.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Cuckoos and Anis

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical nesting, or current and likely recurring nesting, in a particular location.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Probable significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among widely separated populations of birds make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for this group; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Date: 23Jul2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Nonmigratory
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a particular location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in or near appropriate habitat.

These occurrence specifications are used for nonmigratory ani populations.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary and not intended to result in occurrences that represent distinct populations or metapopulations, which would be quite large in areal extent. Instead, the separation distance attempts to balance the mobility of these birds against the need for occurrences of reasonable size for conservation purposes.
Date: 23Jul2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 26Aug2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Mehlman, D. W., and G. Hammerson
Management Information Edition Date: 19Nov1999
Management Information Edition Author: BROWN, B.; REVISIONS BY M. KOENEN AND D.W. MEHLMAN
Management Information Acknowledgments: Support for the preparation of this abstract was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative, through challenge grant number 97-270 to The Nature Conservancy, Wings of the Americas Program. Matching funds for this grant were donated by Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 11Nov2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G., REVISIONS BY B. BROWN AND J. HUGHES

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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