English and Scientific names:

Mangrove Cuckoo    Coccyzus Minor

Number of individuals: 


Locality: LOUISIANA: 

St Bernard

Specific Locality:

Near Borgnemouth Park, Meraux.

Date(s) when observed:

December 23 and 24, 2006.

Time(s) of day when observed:  

From about 12:15 PM to about 4:15 PM Dec 23 and from about 8:00was AM to about 9:15 AM Dec 24.

Reporting observer and address:

Glenn R. Ousset

Chalmette, La

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Other observers accompanying reporter who also <i>identified</i> the bird(s): = David Muth, Phillip Wallace, Dan Purrington, Tom Coulson, Jennifer Coulson, Christie Riehl, Nancy Newfield, Ed Wallace,Dave Patton, and probably others of the numerous observers present on each day.

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Clear, bright sunlight, bird in and out of direct sunlight.

Optical equipment: 

10x42 binoculars, good condition.

Distance to bird(s): 

from about 15 ft to about 120 ft.

Duration of observation:

Bird was in sight most of the time reported in #5.


hardwood woods strips with open understory bordered by extensive weedy, brushy area. Drainage canal betrween strips.

Behavior of bird: 

When first seen, bird was on the ground at the edge of the open understory and flushed to a perch about 2 ft off the ground in a bush about 20 ft away. The bird was mostly seen about 3 to 15 ft off the ground in bushes, trees, and vine tangles where it hunted by looking from its perch. It remained in a position from less than a minute to about 10 minutes before moving, usually a short distance, to another position. The bird often perched in the open, sometimes near observers. On Dec 24, it was not seen until it readily responded to a recorded Mangrove Cuckoo call by moving to a high perch. A little later, it gave 3 or 4 calls over several minutes without prompting.


About size and shape of Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Top of head, back, wings and tail plain brown. Eyes dark. Upper mandible dark. Lower mandible yellow. Distinct solid black mask through eyes. Entire underside orange buffy, including patch on side behind folded wing. White ovals on underside of tail.

Video shows apparent white cheeks. In one segment, from one angle,the upperside of the tail appears black, contrasting with back. But as the bird moves, the color is apparently brown again.  


Gave 3 or 4 calls following playing of recorded call.

Similar species:

Yellow-billed Cucloo by lack of chestnut and orange buffy underside.
Black-billed Cuckoo by yellow lower mandible, larger undertail spots, and orange buffy underside.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Digital video tape and several digital still pictures taken.

Previous experience with this species: 

One observed in Costa Rica about ten years ago.

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

Description composed at time of observation. Looked at Sibley and National Geographic guides and video after composing description.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 




Glenn R. Ousset

Date and time: 

January 5, 2007 11:10 AM