WatchList Species Account for Mangrove Cuckoo
(Coccyzus minor)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species


Mangrove Cuckoo
Photo: Gerald Singer

The Mangrove Cuckoo is found in coastal areas of southern Florida, including the Florida Keys, on both coasts of Mexico and Central America, sporadically on the Caribbean and Atlantic Coasts of South America, and in the Bahamas and the Antilles. In Florida, the species is a rare to uncommon resident.


In the West Indies in particular Mangrove Cuckoos occupy a broad range of habitats, including scrub, woodlands, and humid forest up to elevations of over 4,500 feet.


Though the Mangrove Cucko is secretive and thus difficult to detect, limited Breeding Bird Survey data indicate its numbers may be declining. Other studies in Florida have found that this species is very susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation, with birds found only on habitat fragments larger than 31 acres.


An overall decline in its density in Florida is likely, due to destruction of mangroves and the tropical-seasonal deciduous forest for residential and recreational development. The Mangrove Cuckoo survives in protected areas such as the national parks and wildlife refuges of south Florida and the Florida Keys.


Remaining coastal mangrove and hammock habitats should be acquired to assure a network of protected areas for the cuckoo; such habitat corridors allow the bird room to disperse and to survive catastrophic weather events such as major hurricanes.