19 Guira Cuckoo Facts You’ll Never Forget

Guira Cuckoo Fact File

The cuckoo is named after its melodious sound usually produced by males. There are a total of 54 species of cuckoos in the world. Most species of cuckoos are found in Asia, Africa, and Australia. The Guira cuckoo is a species from the same family. These cuckoos are carnivorous beings and feed on caterpillars, eggs, insects as well as reptiles. They use their beak to cut through the meat since its beak is sharp, thick along with a downward curve. It's known by its scientific name Guira guira.  

These birds are diurnal and are active birds. They are medium-sized birds known for its sandy to dark brown color. These cuckoos have a long tail, a black and white patch at the end of the tail tips, and yellow to orange eyes and beak. Males and females are similar in appearance so it's difficult to tell them apart. Major threats to this species are pollution of their habitat and habitat loss. They are important to control animal populations which they feed on and also for the biodiversity of the environment. These birds are known to belong to the same family as roadrunners.

For more relatable content, check out the black cuckoo and yellow-billed cuckoo facts.

Guira Cuckoo

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Caterpillars, insects, frogs eggs, and reptiles

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

5-7 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.31 lb (0.14 kg)

How long are they?

12-14 in (30.48 -35.56 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Sandy to dark brown

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Savannas, dry forests, and pasture lands


South America, southern Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina





Scientific Name

Guira guira





Guira Cuckoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Guira cuckoo?

The Guira cuckoo is a type of bird that belongs to order Cuculiformes, family Cuculidae, and kingdom Animalia.

What class of animal does a Guira cuckoo belong to?

The Guira cuckoo is a type of bird that belongs to the class Aves, order Cuculiformes, family Cuculidae, and genus Guira.

How many Guira cuckoos are there in the world?

The Guira cuckoos exact population is not known. They are seen predominantly in regions endemic to them.  

Where does a Guira cuckoo live?

A Guira cuckoo is seen in savanna, dry forests, and in pasture lands in a range of South America, southern Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina.  

What is a Guira cuckoo's habitat?

A Guira cuckoo's habitat range constitutes dry forests, savanna, coastal dunes, regions as well as pasture lands. They prefer open habitats. They live together in groups and are seldom spotted alone. They build communal nests and use nests which usually belong to other birds. These birds are protective of their nest territory.  

Who do Guira cuckoos live with?

Guira cuckoos live together in flocks. The groups range from six to eight birds or flocks of up to 20 birds. They live in levels of 4000 ft (1219 m) above the ground. They coexist with other species in the wild.

How long does a Guira cuckoo live?

A Guira cuckoo lives for nine to ten years in captivity. They prefer open habitats. In the wild, their lifespan has not been evaluated. A Laysan albatross named Wisdom is the oldest bird in the world and is 70 years old.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season may vary but is mainly from May to August and from August to November. The age at which adult males and females reach sexual maturity is not known. They reproduce sexually. Breeding adults have courtship dance rituals and are territorial around the nesting territory. Adults are known to chase intruders. Courtship occurs between adults on the ground. Adult males and females mate with multiple mates. They lay eggs in communal nests with sticks, twigs, and leaves as well during the breeding season.

Females post-mating lay five to seven eggs in the communal nests. A Guira cuckoo egg in communal nests is variable in color. Once the eggs hatch, the incubation period lasts 12-15 days post breeding. Breeding may occur multiple times throughout their life. Females throw eggs out from communal nests if they spot one before they lay their own.

What is their conservation status?

The Guira cuckoo status is classified as Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Guira Cuckoo Fun Facts

What do Guira cuckoos look like?

Guira cuckoos are medium-sized birds and have a yellow to orange rufous crest. They have distinctive heads, neck feathers, and their back and wings are sandy brown in appearance. They have yellow to orange eyes and bare light skin around their eyes. Their beak is yellow to orange too. The orange beak is curved downwards and assists them in biting through their prey. The throat feathers are gray in color and relatively less spiky as compared to the rest of the body. Their back wings are dark brown streaked with white. They have long tails which are also dark brown and towards the tips of their tail, it is black and white. They have sharp claws on their feet. They are mostly seen in groups.

A Guira cuckoo beak has an overall sandy to brown plumage and these birds have a yellow to orange bill and eyes with a long tail at the end.

How cute are they?

These birds are not exactly cute, but they have an attractive appearance and are an exotic species of birds. They have an orange rufous crest and sandy-colored back and wings and have a unique appearance that is not seen in other species of birds.

How do they communicate?

A Guira cuckoo communicates via both songs as well as guttural calls and other calls. They have soft to loud calls depending on what they are trying to communicate. They live in groups and are territorial beings. They can be extremely noisy and produce a variety of noises including gargled trills, guttural calls, whistles, and yodels. The cuckoo sound produced is produced by the male, not the female.

How big is a Guira cuckoo?

The Guira cuckoo is 12-14 in (30.48 -35.56 cm) in length which is 10 times bigger than the smallest bird in the world, the bee hummingbird which measures 2.1 -2.4 in (5.5- 6.1 cm).

How fast can a Guira cuckoo fly?

Guira cuckoos fly at relatively good speeds. The average cuckoo flying speed is 18.6 mph (30 kph). Guira cuckoos usually fly only in order to catch their prey.

How much does a Guira cuckoo weigh?

A Guira cuckoo weighs 0.31 lb (0.14 kg). Guira cuckoo birds are usually seen in groups and not solitary. The fastest bird in the world is a peregrine falcon.  

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male and female Guira cuckoo are not addressed differently. Males and females of this species are similar in appearance and differ in reproductive functions.

What would you call a baby Guira cuckoo?

Females lay Guira cuckoo eggs in other birds' nests. A young Guira cuckoo is called a nestling or a juvenile. The nest used contains twigs and leaves. The nest is built by other birds, and these birds leave their nest once the post-incubation period is over.

What do they eat?

A Guira cuckoo is a carnivore. These birds feed on insects, frog eggs, lizards and other reptiles. They prefer feeding on insects, frogs eggs, and caterpillars as well. Cuckoo Guiras are diurnal birds and are most active throughout the day and forage for food mostly during the day. They take food back to their nest for their nestlings.

Are they dangerous?

No, these birds are not dangerous but it's best to maintain a distance while observing them. They are espeically protective of their nesting sites where they lay eggs. Cassowary birds are large birds known to be the most dangerous birds in the world. They are known to kill humans as well. During extreme climates, these cuckoos huddle together.

Would they make a good pet?

No, this species are innately wild birds and it's best not to adopt them. They are best observed within their natural range. They are usually seen in groups and it's likely to spot more in a territory if you find one. They huddle together to stay warm during extreme climates

Did you know...

Figuratively, the phrase 'cuckoo' stands for an adjective meaning 'crazy' or 'weak in mindset'.

Cuckoos sing in the daytime but not in the night as the dark atmosphere around them gives a cue for them not to sing.

What is special about cuckoos?

Cuckoos lay their nests in other birds' nests. This is a special and unique feature of these birds. Most other large and small birds lay their eggs in their own nests. However, cuckoos use other birds' nests and usually kick eggs out that are present in the nests prior to them laying eggs. They lay eggs in other birds' nests primarily to be rid of the pressure of taking care of the young nestling. To avoid competition between the eggs in the nest, the cuckoo lays its eggs after kicking the other eggs out of the nest.  

What is special about the cuckoo's call?

The cuckoo is named after the call it makes. A male Guira cuckoo is the one that makes the calls in order to attract a mate and also to communicate with others. Females don't have such calls. Males and females are similar in appearance however they differ in behavior. They have multiple kinds of calls including gargled trills, guttural calls, whistles, and yodels.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our secretary bird facts and kea parrot facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable cuckoo-bird coloring pages.



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