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Guira cuckoo

Guira guira

Photo by Dario Sanches (Wikipedia)

Common name:
guira cuckoo (en); anu-branco (pt); guira cantara (fr); pirincho (es); guirakuckuck (de)

Order Cuculiformes
Family Cuculidae

This species is found from north-eastern Brazil to Bolivia and south to central Argentina.

These birds are 34-40 cm long and weigh about 140 g.

The guira cuckoo is mostly found in mixed dry savannas and scrublands and degraded patches of former tropical forest, but also in grasslands and inland wetlands. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

They feed on large arthropods, such as grasshoppers, cicadas, termite alates, bugs, spiders, millipedes and caterpillars, and also frogs, bird eggs and chicks, small lizards and mice.

Guira cuckoos breed during the local rainy season. They breed in groups of several pair, with multiple females laying their eggs in the same nest. The nest is a large platform made of sticks, placed on a fork in a tree, 2-5 m above the ground. A nest can have 10-20 grey to turquoise eggs covered with a white chalky layer. The eggs are incubated by several adults for 10-15 days. The chicks are fed by several adults and fledge about 2 weeks after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common.  The population is suspected to be increasing as ongoing habitat degradation is creating new areas of suitable habitat.

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