Skip to Content

Cuculidae – Cuckoos

Squirrel Cuckoo in Costa Rica: Photo by Fernando Burgalin Sequeria

Welcome to our Cuculidae domain! Step into the world of cuckoos, where mystery meets mimicry. Explore our curated selection of ID guides and articles to uncover the secrets of these intriguing birds. From their unique calls to their brood parasitism behavior, delve into the fascinating lives of the birds in the Cuculidae family.

Overview of Cuculidae

While Cuculidae is home to some highly sociable birds, such as the group-living anis, its notoriety stems from its more solitary members—the brood-parasitic cuckoos, which shirk parental responsibilities by laying eggs in the nests of other species. Brood parasitism has independently evolved at least three times within this family, with numerous species adopting this strategy. Cuckoos exhibit remarkable diversity in their choice of hosts worldwide, often laying eggs that closely resemble those of their chosen host species. Primarily inhabitants of forested areas, adult cuckoos are often elusive, their presence revealed only by their distinctive, simple whistled calls. However, a few exceptions, such as roadrunners and guiras, are more conspicuous, darting about in open habitats or perched on fence posts.