Guira cuckoo in exhibit
Scientific Name
Guira guira
Geographic Range
South America
Frogs, large arthropods, small mammals, and eggs
Guira cuckoo in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Guira cuckoos are shaggy-looking birds around 13 inches long, with a brown and white back, wings, and tail and white undersides. They have an orange crest on their head and orange-yellow eyes and bill.

Guira cuckoos are social and usually found in small flocks that may have 20 individuals. Some may even spend time in mixed-species groups with similar birds. They live in open, dry habitats. During courtship dances, the birds spread and raise their crest and tail to display patterned plumage. One female will lay five to seven eggs in nests that are built in tree forks about 16 feet high. Eggs are incubated for 12 days and parents care for chicks for about three weeks after they fledge.

Did You Know?

  • Guira cuckoos give off a strong, pungent odor, which may make them less palatable to predators.
  • These birds are communal breeders. Several females may lay up to 20 eggs in one nest.
  • Due to aggressive competition, only one-fourth of eggs survive.


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