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Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the Kern River Preserve Photo courtesy Murrelet Halterman. All Rights Reserved

Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Coccyzus americanus occidentalis

DESCRIPTION: 11-12 inches.  Head and back grayish brown. Darker gray lores and auricular region. Rufous across primaries. Throat and chest white with some gray wash. Tail grayish upper, black below, outer retrices tipped with white.

SONG: consists of a dry speedy rattle slowing to a hollow cluck. ka ka-ka-ka-kaka ....k'lop k'lop k'lop also a dry ka'ow ka'ow .... slows to cow cow cow... 

Found deep within the riparian forests of the Kern River Preserve and South Fork Wildlife Area. Stop by the preserve and watch hummingbirds in July... many sightings and hearings of the cuckoo occur without much effort just patience.

Late to arrive and early to leave Yellow-billed Cuckoos arrive as early as the last week of May and as late as the third week of June. The usual arrival date is between June 10th and 12th. To be safe come look for them at the very end of June through the middle of July. They will depart from early to mid-August. Check the Birders’ Board at the Kern River Preserve for dates and locations of each year’s sightings.

The Kern River Valley is home to 3 to 24 breeding pairs of Yellow-billed Cuckoos yearly (average range of 8-15 pairs).

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Kern River Preserve • P.O. Box 1662 • 18747 Hwy. 178 • Weldon, CA 93283 • E-mail
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This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.