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Puerto Rican Lizard Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Photo by njlarsen
Photographed: Maricao Forest HQ, Puerto Rico
Coccyzus vieilloti

Alternative name: Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo

Identification

This is a large bird with a long tail; its underparts go from grey on the throat and breast to Cinnamon-rufous on the abdomen; the tail is patterned with white spots on black. Upperparts are brown-grey on the tail, browner on the back. The eye and the area surrounding the eye are both red.

Similar Species

Distribution

Fairly common on Puerto Rico. A single specimen, presumably a vagrant, was collected on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands

Taxonomy

This monotypic species is sometimes referred to as Saurothera vieilloti. Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo, Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo, and Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoo were previously believed to be one species, the Common Lizard Cuckoo.

Habitat

From thick forest in the mountains and shade coffee plantations to the dry coastal forest around Guanica. Also found in the Haystack Hills of northern Puerto Rico.

Behaviour

The species can be observed slowly foraging the forest understory for lizards, its main dietary component (approximately 75%). Large spiders and insects are consumed to supplement its diet.

The species builds nests from twigs and lays from 2 to 3 blue eggs.

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