Guira Cuckoo

Guira guira

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Guira cuckoos are members of a large family of birds that include the parasitic European cuckoo and the greater roadrunner. This family of birds can be found on multiple continents, with the Guira cuckoo residing in South America.

About the Species

Guira cuckoos participate in fascinating communal nesting behaviors that are often highly competitive.

These birds build large, communal nests where up to 10 females lay as many as 26 eggs at a time. In attempts to increase the chances of their own offspring surviving, the females will eject one another's eggs from the nest when nobody is looking. Not all Guira cuckoos participate in this nesting behavior, however, as some birds build their own individual nests. Guira cuckoos are omnivores, and they forage for food on the ground in groups of 6–18 birds. These birds are not very strong fliers, and prefer a gliding method of aerial transportation. Like their cousin, the greater roadrunner, Guira cuckoos are adept and agile runners.

Words From the Experts

Quotes

These are very flock-oriented birds. If you come visit them at the Zoo, you will generally see them sitting near each other, and in cooler weather, you will see them practically sitting on top of one another.

Cindy

Did You Know?

Guira cuckoos will huddle together for warmth at night!

Facts

Origin

Eastern and Central South America

Habitat

Savannas, dry forests, pampas, open areas

Size

Height: 33-36 cm, Weight: 141.7 g on average

Diet

Insects, chicks, amphibians, eggs

Predators

Medium-sized and large mammals

Natural Defenses

Camouflage, flight

Reproduction

10 eggs per nest, laid by several different birds

Status

Least Concern

Life Expectancy

10 years on avg.

  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums
MENU