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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Guira Cuckoo

The Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) is a social species of bird belonging to the cuckoo family. It is found in open and semi-open habitats of eastern and southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and northeastern Argentina.

The adult Guira Cuckoo is approximately 13 inches in length. It has whitish-beige underparts and rump, dark brownish upperparts, a generally white-tipped dark tail that is somewhat long. It has an orange-beige crest, and heavy orange-yellow bill. It is has a shaggy look. It gives off a strong, pungent odor that is common with other members of the Crotophaginae family.

This bird is largely arboreal (adapted to living in trees), but can frequently be seen on the ground, sometimes in flocks of 6 to 18 birds. It is sometimes also seen with other species of birds such as the Chalk-browed Mockingbird and Smooth-billed Ani. It feeds on large arthropods, frogs, small birds and small mammals such as mice.

The nest is built on a tree fork 16 feet from the ground. Five to seven chalky layered, dark green eggs are laid and incubated either individually or within a communal nest with up to 20 eggs. Mortality is sometimes significant in communal nests when the stronger chicks become more aggressive and the younger birds do not get the proper care.

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Guira Cuckoo